Differences Between Descriptive And Prescriptive Grammar

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Venus Engram EN 452 Dr Kate Hickey Feb 9, 2017 What is Grammar? The system of arranging words and phrases to create well-formed sentences in a language, also referred to as syntax, is the core to understanding what grammar is. Studying how words are formed in language (morphology) is another system that defines grammar. Once this is grasped, it is important to understand the difference between descriptive and prescriptive grammar, in addition to their significance. Presenting language as it is actually used by writers and speakers of diverse communities in unalike settings and contexts is the agenda of descriptive grammar. In other words, the function of descriptive grammar is to describe rather than legislate. Linguists…show more content…
Instead, the field recognizes the legitimacy of other dialects that will benefit and aid successful grammar instruction (descriptive grammars). With that, it is evident many grammar instructors must change their way of thinking and assemble the descriptive point of view into educating. Roman rhetorician,Quintilian, aimed to use grammar instruction as a means to produce habits of language that would encourage students to become successful and productive citizens (Murphy, 2012). Quintilian’s students created a bank of resources that were intended to assist in creating their own language that should be engaging and effective. This was accomplished by carefully examining how esteemed authors used language in defined written and oral presentations. Grammar instruction became increasingly fragmented as a result (Abbott, 2012; Murphy, 2012). The goal of preparing students to be successful, productive citizens by ,producing habits of effective language, was ultimately lost and replaced with a new goal to master speaking correctly. Exaggeration on “correct language” use was a consequence of the rapid changes occurring in the English language. Scholars were concerned with the expansion of English dialects which created an urgency to standardize terms of vocabulary, spelling, and grammar. Standardization efforts caused the publishing of numerous dictionaries, grammars, and pronunciation manuals with an emphasis on
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