Irvan Delarocha

1.    The systematic study and description of a language. (Compare with usage.)
2.    A set of rules and examples dealing with the syntax and word structures (morphology) of a language. Adjective: grammatical.

See Observations, below. Also see:

"One of the most fundamental claims of modern linguistic analysis is that all languages have a grammar It could not be any other way. If a language is spoken, it must have a phonetic and phonological system; since it has words and sentences, it must also have a morphology and a syntax; and since these words and sentences have systematic meanings, there must obviously be semantic principles as well. Of course, these are the very things that make up a grammar."(W. O'Grady and J. Archibald, Contemporary Linguistic Analysis: An Introduction. Addison Wesley, 2000)

"It is not the business of grammar, as some critics seem preposterously to imagine, to give law to the fashions that regulate our speech. On the contrary, from its conformity to these, and from that alone, it derives its authority and value."(George Campbell, Philosophy of Rhetoric, 1776)

"Ancient attitudes to grammar still survive: many people are in awe of it, know little about it, tend to fear or dislike it, often find it baffling or boring if exposed to it at school, and yet a minority is fascinated by it: a field in which precise scholarship and nit-picking pedantry have co-existed for centuries."(Sidney Greenbaum, The Oxford English Grammar. Oxford Univ. Press, 1996)

"What I know about grammar is its infinite power. To shift the structure of a sentence alters the meaning of that sentence."(Joan Didion)

"[G]rammar is the study of all the contrasts of meaning that it is possible to make within sentences. The 'rules' of grammar tell us how. By one count, there are some 3,500 such rules in English."(David Crystal, The Fight for English. Oxford Univ. Press, 2006)

"A preschooler's tacit knowledge of grammar is more sophisticated than the thickest style manual. [Grammar should not] be confused with the guidelines for how one 'ought' to speak."(Steven Pinker, Words and Rules. Harper, 1999)

"The child does not learn his language from his grammar. After he has learned it in other ways, grammar steps in and furnishes him a scientific analysis of what he has been doing."
(Thomas R. Lounsbury, "Compulsory Composition in Colleges." Harper's Monthly Magazine, Nov. 1911)


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