In linguistics, grammar is the set of structural rules governing the composition of clauses and words in any given natural language. The term refers to the study of such rules, this field includes phonology and syntax complemented by phonetics and pragmatics. Speakers of a language have a set of internalized rules for using that language, these rules constitute that language's grammar; the vast majority of the information in the grammar is – at least in the case of one's native language – acquired not by conscious study or instruction, but by observing other speakers. Much of this work is done during early childhood. Thus, grammar is the cognitive information underlying language use; the term "grammar" can be used to describe the rules that govern the linguistic behavior of a group of speakers. The term "English grammar", may have several meanings, it may refer to the whole of English grammar, that is, to the grammars of all the speakers of the language, in which case, the term encompasses a great deal of variation.
Alternatively, it may refer only to what is common to the grammars of all, or of the vast majority of English speakers. Or it may refer to the rules of a particular well-defined variety of English. A specific description, study or analysis of such rules may be referred to as a grammar. A reference book describing the grammar of a language is called a "reference grammar" or "a grammar". A explicit grammar that exhaustively describes the grammatical constructions of a particular lect is called a descriptive grammar; this kind of linguistic description contrasts with linguistic prescription, an attempt to discourage or suppress some grammatical constructions, while codifying and promoting others, either in an absolute sense, or in reference to a standard variety. For example, preposition stranding occurs in Germanic languages, has a long history in English, is considered standard usage. John Dryden, objected to it, leading other English speakers to avoid the construction and discourage its use. Outside linguistics, the term grammar is used in a rather different sense.
In some respects, it may be used more broadly, including rules of spelling and punctuation, which linguists would not consider to form part of grammar, but rather as a part of orthography, the set of conventions used for writing a language. In other respects, it may be used more narrowly, to refer to a set of prescriptive norms only and excluding those aspects of a language's grammar that are not subject to variation or debate on their normative acceptability. Jeremy Butterfield claimed that, for non-linguists, "Grammar is a generic way of referring to any aspect of English that people object to." The word grammar is derived from Greek γραμματικὴ τέχνη, which means "art of letters", from γράμμα, "letter", itself from γράφειν, "to draw, to write". The same Greek root appears in graphics and photograph. Vedic Sanskrit is the earliest language known to the world; the grammatical rules were formulated by Indra, etc. but the modern systematic grammar, of Sanskrit, originated in Iron Age India, with Yaska, Pāṇini and his commentators Pingala and Patanjali.
Tolkāppiyam, the earliest Tamil grammar, is dated to before the 5th century AD. The Babylonians made some early attempts at language description,In the West, grammar emerged as a discipline in Hellenism from the 3rd century BC forward with authors like Rhyanus and Aristarchus of Samothrace; the oldest known grammar handbook is the Art of Grammar, a succinct guide to speaking and writing and written by the ancient Greek scholar Dionysius Thrax, a student of Aristarchus of Samothrace who established a school on the Greek island of Rhodes. Dionysius Thrax's grammar book remained the primary grammar textbook for Greek schoolboys until as late as the twelfth century AD; the Romans based their grammatical writings on it and its basic format remains the basis for grammar guides in many languages today. Latin grammar developed by following Greek models from the 1st century BC, due to the work of authors such as Orbilius Pupillus, Remmius Palaemon, Marcus Valerius Probus, Verrius Flaccus, Aemilius Asper.
A grammar of Irish originated in the 7th century with the Auraicept na n-Éces. Arabic grammar emerged with Abu al-Aswad al-Du'ali in the 7th century; the first treatises on Hebrew grammar appeared in the context of Mishnah. The Karaite tradition originated in Abbasid Baghdad; the Diqduq is one of the earliest grammatical commentaries on the Hebrew Bible. Ibn Barun in the 12th century compares the Hebrew language with Arabic in the Islamic grammatical tradition. Belonging to the trivium of the seven liberal arts, grammar was taught as a core discipline throughout the Middle Ages, following the influence of authors from Late Antiquity, such as Priscian. Treatment of vernaculars began during the High Middle Ages, with isolated works such as the First Grammatical Treatise, but became influential only in the Renaissance and Baroque periods. In 1486, Antonio de Nebrija published Las introduciones Latinas contrapuesto el romance al Latin, the first Spanish grammar, Gramática de la lengua castellana, in 1492.
During the 16th-century Italian Ren
Origin of speech
The origin of speech refers to the more general problem of the origin of language in the context of the physiological development of the human speech organs such as the tongue and vocal organs used to produce phonological units in all human languages. Although related to the more general problem of the origin of language, the evolution of distinctively human speech capacities has become a distinct and in many ways separate area of scientific research; the topic is a separate one because language is not spoken: it can be written or signed. Speech is in this sense optional. Uncontroversially, monkeys and humans, like many other animals, have evolved specialised mechanisms for producing sound for purposes of social communication. On the other hand, no monkey or ape uses its tongue for such purposes. Our species' unprecedented use of the tongue and other moveable parts seems to place speech in a quite separate category, making its evolutionary emergence an intriguing theoretical challenge in the eyes of many scholars.
The term modality means the chosen representational format for encoding and transmitting information. A striking feature of language is. Should an impaired child be prevented from hearing or producing sound, its innate capacity to master a language may find expression in signing. Sign languages of the deaf are independently invented and have all the major properties of spoken language except for the modality of transmission. From this it appears that the language centres of the human brain must have evolved to function optimally irrespective of the selected modality. "The detachment from modality-specific inputs may represent a substantial change in neural organization, one that affects not only imitation but communication. This feature is extraordinary. Animal communication systems combine visible with audible properties and effects, but not one is modality-independent. No vocally impaired whale, dolphin or songbird, for example, could express its song repertoire in visual display. Indeed, in the case of animal communication and modality are not capable of being disentangled.
Whatever message is being conveyed stems from intrinsic properties of the signal. Modality independence should not be confused with the ordinary phenomenon of multimodality. Monkeys and apes rely on a repertoire of species-specific "gesture-calls" — expressive vocalisations inseparable from the visual displays which accompany them. Humans have species-specific gesture-calls — laughs, sobs and so forth — together with involuntary gestures accompanying speech. Many animal displays are polymodal in that each appears designed to exploit multiple channels simultaneously; the human linguistic property of "modality independence" is conceptually distinct from this. It allows the speaker to encode the informational content of a message in a single channel, while switching between channels as necessary. Modern city-dwellers switch effortlessly between the spoken word and writing in its various forms — handwriting, typing, e-mail and so forth. Whichever modality is chosen, it can reliably transmit the full message content without external assistance of any kind.
When talking on the telephone, for example, any accompanying facial or manual gestures, however natural to the speaker, are not necessary. When typing or manually signing, there's no need to add sounds. In many Australian Aboriginal cultures, a section of the population — women observing a ritual taboo — traditionally restrict themselves for extended periods to a silent version of their language; when released from the taboo, these same individuals resume narrating stories by the fireside or in the dark, switching to pure sound without sacrifice of informational content. Speaking is the default modality for language in all cultures. Humans' first recourse is to encode our thoughts in sound — a method which depends on sophisticated capacities for controlling the lips and other components of the vocal apparatus; the speech organs, everyone agrees, evolved in the first instance not for speech but for more basic bodily functions such as feeding and breathing. Nonhuman primates with different neural controls.
Apes use their flexible, maneuverable tongues for eating but not for vocalizing. When an ape is not eating, fine motor control over its tongue is deactivated. Either it is performing gymnastics with its tongue or it is vocalising. Since this applies to mammals in general, Homo sapiens is exceptional in harnessing mechanisms designed for respiration and ingestion to the radically different requirements of articulate speech; the word "language" derives from the Latin lingua, "tongue". Phoneticians agree. A natural language can be viewed as a particular way of using the tongue to express thought; the human tongue has an unusual shape. In most mammals, it's a long, flat structure contained within the mouth, it is attached at the rear to the hyoid bone, situated below oral level in the pharynx. In humans, the tongue has an circular sagittal contour, much of it lying vertically down an extended pharynx, where it is attached to a hyoid bone in a lowered position; as a result of this, the horizontal and vertical tubes forming the supralaryngeal vocal tract are equal in length (whereas in other species, the vertical se
In linguistics, a word is the smallest element that can be uttered in isolation with objective or practical meaning. This contrasts with a morpheme, the smallest unit of meaning but will not stand on its own. A word may consist of a single morpheme, or several, whereas a morpheme may not be able to stand on its own as a word. A complex word will include a root and one or more affixes, or more than one root in a compound. Words can be put together to build larger elements of language, such as phrases and sentences; the term word may refer to a spoken word or to a written word, or sometimes to the abstract concept behind either. Spoken words are made up of units of sound called phonemes, written words of symbols called graphemes, such as the letters of the English alphabet; the difficulty of deciphering a word depends on the language. Dictionaries categorize a language's lexicon into lemmas; these can be taken as an indication of what constitutes a "word" in the opinion of the writers of that language.
The most appropriate means of measuring the length of a word is by counting its syllables or morphemes. When a word has multiple definitions or multiple senses, it may result in confusion in a debate or discussion. Leonard Bloomfield introduced the concept of "Minimal Free Forms" in 1926. Words are thought of as the smallest meaningful unit of speech; this correlates phonemes to lexemes. However, some written words are not minimal free forms; some semanticists have put forward a theory of so-called semantic primitives or semantic primes, indefinable words representing fundamental concepts that are intuitively meaningful. According to this theory, semantic primes serve as the basis for describing the meaning, without circularity, of other words and their associated conceptual denotations. In the Minimalist school of theoretical syntax, words are construed as "bundles" of linguistic features that are united into a structure with form and meaning. For example, the word "koalas" has semantic features, category features, number features, phonological features, etc.
The task of defining what constitutes a "word" involves determining where one word ends and another word begins—in other words, identifying word boundaries. There are several ways to determine where the word boundaries of spoken language should be placed: Potential pause: A speaker is told to repeat a given sentence allowing for pauses; the speaker will tend to insert pauses at the word boundaries. However, this method is not foolproof: the speaker could break up polysyllabic words, or fail to separate two or more linked words. Indivisibility: A speaker is told to say a sentence out loud, is told to say the sentence again with extra words added to it. Thus, I have lived in this village for ten years might become My family and I have lived in this little village for about ten or so years; these extra words will tend to be added in the word boundaries of the original sentence. However, some languages have infixes; some have separable affixes. Phonetic boundaries: Some languages have particular rules of pronunciation that make it easy to spot where a word boundary should be.
For example, in a language that stresses the last syllable of a word, a word boundary is to fall after each stressed syllable. Another example can be seen in a language that has vowel harmony: the vowels within a given word share the same quality, so a word boundary is to occur whenever the vowel quality changes. Not all languages have such convenient phonetic rules, those that do present the occasional exceptions. Orthographic boundaries: See below. In languages with a literary tradition, there is interrelation between orthography and the question of what is considered a single word. Word separators are common in modern orthography of languages using alphabetic scripts, but these are a modern development. In English orthography, compound expressions may contain spaces. For example, ice cream, air raid shelter and get up each are considered to consist of more than one word. Not all languages delimit words expressly. Mandarin Chinese is a analytic language, making it unnecessary to delimit words orthographically.
However, there are many multiple-morpheme compounds in Mandarin, as well as a variety of bound morphemes that make it difficult to determine what constitutes a word. Sometimes, languages which are close grammatically will consider the same order of words in different ways. For example, reflexive verbs in the French infinitive are separate from their respective particle, e.g. se laver, whereas in Portuguese they are hyphenated, e.g. lavar-se, in Spanish they are joined, e.g. lavarse. Japanese uses orthographic cues to delim
In everyday speech, a phrase may be any group of words carrying a special idiomatic meaning. In linguistic analysis, a phrase is a group of words that functions as a constituent in the syntax of a sentence, a single unit within a grammatical hierarchy. A phrase appears within a clause, but it is possible for a phrase to be a clause or to contain a clause within it. There are types of phrases like noun phrase, prepositional phrase and noun phrase The phrase coming up means an events is occurring within quite soon. Eg Christmas is coming up, in a few days. There is a difference between the common use of the term phrase and its technical use in linguistics. In common usage, a phrase is a group of words with some special idiomatic meaning or other significance, such as "all rights reserved", "economical with the truth", "kick the bucket", the like, it may be a saying or proverb, a fixed expression, a figure of speech, etc.. In grammatical analysis in theories of syntax, a phrase is any group of words, or sometimes a single word, which plays a particular role within the grammatical structure of a sentence.
It does not have to have any special meaning or significance, or exist anywhere outside of the sentence being analyzed, but it must function there as a complete grammatical unit. For example, in the sentence Yesterday I saw an orange bird with a white neck, the words an orange bird with a white neck form what is called a noun phrase, or a determiner phrase in some theories, which functions as the object of the sentence. Theorists of syntax differ in what they regard as a phrase; this means that some expressions that may be called phrases in everyday language are not phrases in the technical sense. For example, in the sentence I can't put up with Alex, the words put up with may be referred to in common language as a phrase but technically they do not form a complete phrase, since they do not include Alex, the complement of the preposition with. In grammatical analysis, most phrases contain a key word that identifies the type and linguistic features of the phrase; the syntactic category of the head is used to name the category of the phrase.
The remaining words in a phrase are called the dependents of the head. In the following phrases the head-word, or head, is bolded: too — Adverb phrase. For instance, the subordinator phrase: before that happened — Subordinator phrase, but this phrase, "before that happened", is more classified in other grammars, including traditional English grammars, as a subordinate clause. Most theories of syntax view most phrases as having a head, but some non-headed phrases are acknowledged. A phrase lacking a head is known as exocentric, phrases with heads are endocentric; some modern theories of syntax introduce certain functional categories in which the head of a phrase is some functional word or item, which may be covert, that is, it may be a theoretical construct that need not appear explicitly in the sentence. For example, in some theories, a phrase such as the man is taken to have the determiner the as its head, rather than the noun man – it is classed as a determiner phrase, rather than a noun phrase.
When a noun is used in a sentence without an explicit determiner, a null determiner may be posited. For full discussion, see Determiner phrase. Another type is the inflectional phrase, where a finite verb phrase is taken to be the complement of a functional covert head, supposed to encode the requirements for the verb to inflect – for agreement with its subject, for tense and aspect, etc. If these factors are treated separately more specific categories may be considered: tense phrase, where the verb phrase is the complement of an abstract "tense" element. Further examples of such proposed categories include topic phrase and focus phrase, which are assumed to be headed by elements that encode the need for a constituent of the sentence to be marked as the topic or as the focus. See the Generative approaches section of the latter article for details. Many theories of syntax and grammar illustrate sentence structure using phrase'trees', which provide schematics of how the words in a sentence are grouped and relate to each other.
Trees show the words, and, at times, clauses that make up sentences. Any word combination that corresponds to a complete subtree can be seen as a phrase. There are competing principles for constructing trees.
A vernacular, or vernacular language, is the lect used in everyday life by the common people of a specific population. It is distinguished from national, liturgical or scientific idiom, or a lingua franca, used to facilitate communication across a large area, it is native spoken informally rather than written and seen as of lower status than more codified forms. It can be regional dialect, sociolect or an independent language. In the context of language standardization, the term "vernacular" is used to refer to nonstandard dialects of a certain language, as opposed to its prestige normative forms. Usage of the word "vernacular" is not recent. In 1688, James Howell wrote: Concerning Italy, doubtless there were divers before the Latin did spread all over that Country. Here, mother language and dialect are in use in a modern sense. According to Merriam-Webster, "vernacular" was brought into the English language as early as 1601 from the Latin vernaculus, in figurative use in Classical Latin as "national" and "domestic", having been derived from vernus and verna, a male or female slave born in the house rather than abroad.
The figurative meaning was broadened from vernacula. Varro, the classical Latin grammarian, used the term vocabula vernacula, "termes de la langue nationale" or "vocabulary of the national language" as opposed to foreign words. In general linguistics, a vernacular is contrasted with a lingua franca, a third-party language in which persons speaking different vernaculars not understood by each other may communicate. For instance, in Western Europe until the 17th century, most scholarly works had been written in Latin, serving as a lingua franca. Works written in Romance languages are said to be in the vernacular; the Divina Commedia, the Cantar de Mio Cid, The Song of Roland are examples of early vernacular literature in Italian and French, respectively. In Europe, Latin was used instead of vernacular languages in varying forms until c. 1701, in its latter stage as New Latin. In religion, Protestantism was a driving force in the use of the vernacular in Christian Europe, the Bible being translated from Latin into vernacular languages with such works as the Bible in Dutch: published in 1526 by Jacob van Liesvelt.
In Catholicism, vernacular bibles were provided, but Latin was used at Tridentine Mass until the Second Vatican Council of 1965. Certain groups, notably Traditionalist Catholics, continue to practice Latin Mass. In Eastern Orthodox Church, four Gospels translated to vernacular Ukrainian language in 1561 are known as Peresopnytsia Gospel. In India, the 12th century Bhakti movement led to the translation of Sanskrit texts to the vernacular. In science, an early user of the vernacular was Galileo, writing in Italian c. 1600, though some of his works remained in Latin. A example is Isaac Newton, whose 1687 Principia was in Latin, but whose 1704 Opticks was in English. Latin continues to be used in certain fields of science, notably binomial nomenclature in biology, while other fields such as mathematics use vernacular. In diplomacy, French displaced Latin in Europe in the 1710s, due to the military power of Louis XIV of France. Certain languages have both a classical form and various vernacular forms, with two used examples being Arabic and Chinese: see Varieties of Arabic and Chinese language.
In the 1920s, due to the May Fourth Movement, Classical Chinese was replaced by written vernacular Chinese. The vernacular is often contrasted with a liturgical language, a specialized use of a former lingua franca. For example, until the 1960s, Roman Rite Catholics held Masses in Latin rather than in vernaculars. In Hindu culture, traditionally religious or scholarly works were written in Sanskrit or in Tamil in Tamil country. Sanskrit was a lingua franca among the non-Indo-European languages of the Indian subcontinent and became more of one as the spoken language, or prakrits, began to diverge from it in different regions. With the rise of the bhakti movement from the 12th century onwards, religious works were created in the other languages: Hindi, Kannada and many others. For example, the Ramayana, one of Hinduism's sacred epics in Sanskrit, had vernacular versions such as Ranganadha Ramayanam composed in Telugu by Gona Buddha Reddy in the 15th century; these circumstances are a contrast between a vernacular and language variant used by the same speakers
A vowel is one of the two principal classes of speech sound, the other being a consonant. Vowels vary in quality, in loudness and in quantity, they are voiced, are involved in prosodic variation such as tone and stress. Vowel sounds are produced with an open vocal tract; the word vowel comes from the Latin word vocalis, meaning "vocal". In English, the word vowel is used to refer both to vowel sounds and to the written symbols that represent them. There are two complementary definitions of one phonetic and the other phonological. In the phonetic definition, a vowel is a sound, such as the English "ah" or "oh", produced with an open vocal tract. There is no significant build-up of air pressure at any point above the glottis; this contrasts with consonants, such as the English "sh", which have a constriction or closure at some point along the vocal tract. In the phonological definition, a vowel is defined as syllabic, the sound that forms the peak of a syllable. A phonetically equivalent but non-syllabic sound is a semivowel.
In oral languages, phonetic vowels form the peak of many or all syllables, whereas consonants form the onset and coda. Some languages allow other sounds to form the nucleus of a syllable, such as the syllabic l in the English word table or the syllabic r in the Serbo-Croatian word vrt "garden"; the phonetic definition of "vowel" does not always match the phonological definition. The approximants and illustrate this: both are without much of a constriction in the vocal tract, but they occur at the onset of syllables which suggests that phonologically they are consonants. A similar debate arises over whether a word like bird in a rhotic dialect has an r-colored vowel /ɝ/ or a syllabic consonant /ɹ̩/; the American linguist Kenneth Pike suggested the terms "vocoid" for a phonetic vowel and "vowel" for a phonological vowel, so using this terminology, are classified as vocoids but not vowels. However and Emmory demonstrated from a range of languages that semivowels are produced with a narrower constriction of the vocal tract than vowels, so may be considered consonants on that basis.
Nonetheless, the phonetic and phonemic definitions would still conflict for the syllabic /l/ in table, or the syllabic nasals in button and rhythm. The traditional view of vowel production, reflected for example in the terminology and presentation of the International Phonetic Alphabet, is one of articulatory features that determine a vowel's quality as distinguishing it from other vowels. Daniel Jones developed the cardinal vowel system to describe vowels in terms of the features of tongue height, tongue backness and roundedness; these three parameters are indicated in the schematic quadrilateral IPA vowel diagram on the right. There are additional features of vowel quality, such as the velum position, type of vocal fold vibration, tongue root position; this conception of vowel articulation has been known to be inaccurate since 1928. Peter Ladefoged has said that "early phoneticians... thought they were describing the highest point of the tongue, but they were not. They were describing formant frequencies."
The IPA Handbook concedes that "the vowel quadrilateral must be regarded as an abstraction and not a direct mapping of tongue position."Nonetheless, the concept that vowel qualities are determined by tongue position and lip rounding continues to be used in pedagogy, as it provides an intuitive explanation of how vowels are distinguished. Vowel height is named for the vertical position of the tongue relative to either the roof of the mouth or the aperture of the jaw. However, it refers to the first formant, abbreviated F1, associated with the height of the tongue. In close vowels known as high vowels, such as and, the first formant is consistent with the tongue being positioned close to the palate, high in the mouth, whereas in open vowels known as low vowels, such as, F1 is consistent with the jaw being open and the tongue being positioned low in the mouth. Height is defined by the inverse of the F1 value: The higher the frequency of the first formant, the lower the vowel; the International Phonetic Alphabet defines seven degrees of vowel height, but no language is known to distinguish all of them without distinguishing another attribute: close near-close close-mid mid open-mid near-open open The letters are used for either close-mid or true-mid vowels.
However, if more precision is required, true-mid vowels may be written with a lowering diacritic. The Kensiu language, spoken in Malaysia and Thailand, is unusual in that it contrasts true-mid with close-mid and open-mid vowels, without any difference in other parameters like backness or roundness. Although English contrasts six heights in its vowels, they are interdependent with differences in backness, many are parts of diphthongs, it appears that some varieties of German have five vowel heights that contrast independently of length or other parameters. The Bavarian dialect of Amstetten h