Thehistory of English grammar dates back to the first book published asa pamphletfor grammarin 1586 by William Bullokar, which demonstrated English as a rulebased languagejust like Latin. The grammar explained by Bullokar was later modeledby William Lily’s in his Latin grammar, RudimentaGrammatices,1534. Bullokar grammar rules explained ‘spellingsystem’in English language but later many English grammars were written inLatin like in the works of John Walli’s GrammaticaLinguae Anglicanae(1685). In the 19thcentury, Lindley Murray authored one of the widely used grammars oftoday in his work ‘grammatical authorities’ which laid claim theEnglish grammar was different from those of ancient (Yule,2006. p7).
Englishgrammar is a body of rules that describe structures of expressions inthe construction of English language using phrases, words, clause andsentences. There are historical, regional and social variations inEnglish grammar. Grammar is one of the most important aspect andlevel of linguistic study. English language exhibits different levelswhich are not mutually exclusive and the different aspects of Englishlanguage concretize together to form meaningful and appropriatelanguage. The aim of this paper is to explore some aspects of Englishgrammar in the context of word formation, semantic structure andspeech acquisition.
Myopinion is that, word formation in English grammar through blendingcreates different semantic changes on single word and sentences.However, the relationship between blending and semantic structure ofmetonymy and collocation is difficult to define. Blending changes thesemantic structure of sentences especially when metonymy andcollocate words are involved. This is because the semanticrelationship between affixes and stems in word formation would changethe structural meaning of sentences. In addition, for sentences tohave semantic structure, blending of metonymies either bysuffixation, compounds or reduplication can only be done prior orposterior word formation. This means that metonymic shifts can eitherbe in the input of word formation or operate on its output.Collocation is when particular words frequently co-occur togetherthan others (Yule,2006. P.15).
Thereexist great lexical difference between hyponymy and prototype as usedin English grammar. Prototype refers to words that give idea orcharacteristic instance of another word for instance, the word birdcan elicit examples of birds like duck,pelican, and swanamong others (Yule,2006. p9).Hyponymy on the other hand involves the logical relationship ofentailment for instance, there is a horse’ entails that there isan animal Hyponymy serves in discourse as a lexical cohesion byestablishing referential. In other cases, hyponymy is equivalent toavoiding repletion. In lexical terms the understanding of hyponymyand prototype depends on their usage in sentences. However, their usein same sentence does not in any way affect the semantic structure ofthe sentences.
Researchstudies indicate girls have superior mastery of speech sounds thanthe boys. Normative studies indicate small but significant genderdifference favoring girls in speech acquisition. However, linguisticsobserves that, children’s speech is based on child’s overallphonological system contrary to normative studies. In my view, boyshave developmental speech disorders than girls. Various factors couldaffect speech acquisition such as model of speaking (cognitivelinguistic), phonetics and phonological representation.
Accordingto Yule, ‘languageacquisition is the capacity to acquire and comprehend language,produce and use words in sentences to communicate ability tocognitively know the morphological, syntax, phonology, semantic andvocabulary as applied in language’(Yule,2006. P.5). I believe that effective language acquisition is through ‘empiricallearning’where individuals start learning language at early age and developsas human brain and vocal cords adapt to language. ‘Empiricist’believes that knowledge is a product of experience while‘rationalist’ believe that knowledge is a part of innate andexperience.
Manystudies conducted on language acquisition agree that ‘innatefactors’ or ‘rational’ determine language acquisition. Mainargument of this perspective is that, without ‘rational’ basis,it is hard for individuals to acquire language knowledge. However,complex language structures can not learned through innate aspect ofhuman beings but through empiricallinguistic learning. I agree with Kataba that, ‘effectivelanguage acquisition works well when combined with general andlanguage specific learning capacities’(rational and empirical learning)(Katamba, 2005, p.12).
Englishgrammar as a body of rules that describe the structure of expressionsin English language varies in regional and social aspects. Divergencefrom standard grammar occurs in different dialects of Englishlanguage and exhibits different levels which are not mutuallyexclusive. The different aspects of English language concretizetogether to form meaningful and appropriate English language.Blending changes the semantic structure of sentences especially whenmetonymy and collocate words are involved. However, the relationshipbetween blending and semantic structure of metonymy and collocationis difficult to define. There exist great lexical difference betweenhyponymy and prototype as used in English grammar. Understanding ofhyponymy and prototype depends on their usage in sentences. However,their use in same sentence does not in any way affect the semanticstructure of the sentences.
Studiesindicate girls have superior mastery of speech sounds than the boys.Various factors could affect speech acquisition such as model ofspeaking (cognitive linguistic), phonetics and phonologicalrepresentation. Empiricist’ believes that language knowledge is aproduct of experience while ‘rationalist’ believe that knowledgeis a part of innate and experience. Studies conducted on languageacquisition agree that ‘innate factors’ or ‘rational’determine language acquisition. Effective language acquisition workswell when combined with general and language specific learningcapacities (rational and empirical learning).
Katamba,F. ‘EnglishWords’.(2005), London and New York, Routledge
Yule,G. ‘TheStudy of Language’.(2006).Cambridge, New York, Cambridge University Press