A set of language rule written to help speakers learn a foreign langiage or a different dialect of their language.
Teaching grammar state explicity the rule of the language, list the word and their pronunciations, and aid in learning a new language or dialect.
Teaching grammar assume that the student already knows one language an compares the grammar of the target language with the grammar of the native language.
Although teaching grammar might be considered prescriptive in the sense that they attempt to teach the student what is or is not a grammatical construction in the new language, their aim is different from grammars that attempt to change the rule or usage of a language already learned.
Grammar includes everything speakers know about their language - the sound system, called phonology; the system of meaning, called semantics: the rule of word formation, called morphology; and the rule of sentence formation, called syntax; the vocabulary of word <lexicon>
Our aim is more in keeping with that stated in 1784 by the grammarian John Fell in Essay towards an English Grammar: “ It is certainly the business of a grammarian to find out, and not to make, the laws of a language”
The laws of all language represent the universal properties of all language constitute a universal grammar.
According to Noam Chomsky, there is a universal grammar that is part the human biologically endowed language faculty.
Chomsky states that a universal grammar is a system of principles which characterizes the class of possible grammars by specifying how particular grammars are organized <what are the components and their relations> how the different rule of these components are constructed. How they interact, and so on.
The major aim of linguistic theory is to discover the nature of this universal grammar whose principles characterize all human language.
The linguists “goal is to discover the laws of human language” as the physicists’ goal is to discover the” laws of the physical universal”
The complexity of language, a product of the human brain, undoubtedly means this goal will never be fully achieved.
All scientific theories are incomplete, and new hypotheses must be propose to account for new data.
Theories are continually changing as new discoveries are made.
The linguistic theory of universal grammar will shed new light on the nature of human lamguage.
The Development of Grammar
Linguistic theory is concerned not only with describing the knowledge that an adult speaker has of his or her language, but also with explaining hoe that knowledge is acquired.
A child can acquire any language he is exposed to with comparable ease.
Common Characteristics of how children learn their native language
Children learn language with ease and a relatively short period of time.
They can learn a language without any specific language instruction.
Children pass through other linguistic stages on their way to adult like competence.
All children start out by using one word at a time .
Then, they combine words into simple sentences.
Certain parts of the sentence may be missing. For example, a child may say Cathy build house instead f Cathy is building the house.
By about age five children speak a language that is almost indistinguishable from the language of the adults around them.
How children accomplish the remarkable cognitive achievement is a topic of interest to linguists.
The child’s success, as well as the uniformity of the acquisition process, point to a substantial innate component of language development.