Grammar is divided in Two Sub-Categories: English Syntax and Morphology

905 WordsFeb 19, 20184 Pages
Grammar is traditionally divided into two sub-categories: morphology and syntax. Moprhology is the study of morphemes – smallest units of language that carry meaning – and how they are formed into words. Syntax is the study of the processes by which sentences are formed. Hereinafter, we shall take a look at the approach to grammar developed by Noam Chomsky. According to Chomsky, the goal of the linguist is to determine what it is that native speakers know about their native language which enables them to speak and understand the language fluently. Chomsky contrasts two approaches to grammar – the traditional approach and the universal approach. While traditional grammar studies language in terms of taxonomy, which is a classificatory list of all the constituents of a language and their grammatica categories and functions, universal grammar is part of a larger study of cognition in which the linguist attempts to generalise from a particular I-language to all other humanly possible I-languages. So, what is an I-language and how does it differ from e-languages? Well, according to Chomsky, I-language is an internalised linguistic system of every speaker, a psychological ability of humans to use and understand a language fluently. It differs from e-languages, which are concrete realisations of the Human Language Capacity, such as English, Croatian of Swedish. He also distinguishes between what he calls competence and performance, wherein the former can be defined as the native

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