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What is Grammar?

Lecture 1
What comes to your mind when
you hear the word glamour?
Nowadays the term grammar has
a number of different meanings.
A book
Linguistic theory
A subdiscipline
A speakers knowledge of language
The traditional approach to grammar
Language is divided into different
structural levels only for the sake of
investigation.
We have to separate one linguistic fact
from another in order to analyse it
thoroughly.
Which are the structural levels of language?
Each linguistic level has its own specific features.
phonological
morphological
syntactical
lexico-semantical
Phonemes, morphemes, words
It is not possible for an
item of one level to
combine with an item of
another level
while preserving the
qualities of the original
level
an item of one level can
pass over and be
integrated into another
level
it acquires the features of
the level into which it has
been integrated,
abandoning the features
it had in the previous
level
Is it possible to have a morpheme made of
only one phoneme?
What about morphemes? Are there any
words consisting of only one morpheme?
,, ~,,7, , ;
J. Molhova: There are also many points in
language where the respective levels not
only function together but intersect
Gender
Ex. , , , ,
Number
Ex.?
there is a similar parallel with the category
of number
calf
bull
cow
children
father
mother
person
person
person
The morpheme is the smallest
meaningful unit
J.Molhova: every form has its content /
meaning; and every content / meaning has its
form
Grammatical category
form meaning
the difference between a
grammatical and a lexical item
table - tables; cat - cats; girl- girls
table, cat, girl
the common forms singular of the nouns
tables, cats, girls
the common plural forms of the nouns.
This description refers both to the
form and its meaning
The form is one and the same and the meaning
accordingly
0 - a singular noun, common case
-s a marker of plurality in English
the morphemes 0 and -s have these meanings
irrespective of the lexical meanings of the
items
Hypothesis: a grammatical category is a
specific form with a specific meaning
independent of the lexical meaning of the item
She is a teacher.
She is a bla.
The bla blas.
Words consist of strings of sounds,
forming the phonological system of
language
every word is phonologically motivated
Ex. borrowings fashion -
The former English phoneme is substituted by a
Bulgarian one.
a word must have a grammatical form
compatible with the existing
grammatical patterns in the language
It is not possible for any word to function
without having a grammatical form.
It is not possible for any word to follow the
grammatical pattern of another language.
every word must be grammatically
motivated
The grammatical motivation
actually turns a morpheme or a
group of morphemes into a word
It is impossible to add anything more to
the word on the morphological level.
Ex. girl girls
girl-
girl- + -0 = girl
girl- + -s = girls
Grammatical motivation can be
considered as grammatical
completeness
For this reason one can discuss problems of
meaning connected with the word with
greater confidence than with the morpheme.