Grammar History

Grammar is a term used to mean many different things.

Many years ago, Hartwell (1985) organized some of these different
meanings in an attempt to clarify our understanding of grammar by offering
five different definitions, summarized here:
1. A set of formal patterns in which the words of a language are arranged to convey
a larger meaning.
2. The branch of linguistics concerned with the description, analysis, and formulation
of formal language patterns.
3. Linguistic etiquette.
4. School grammar, or the names of the parts of speech.
5. Grammatical terms used in the interest of teaching writing.

definition of grammar that is concise but that is
sufficiently broad to include a wide range of language features and forms:

Grammar is the formal study of the structure of a language and describes
how words fit together in meaningful constructions.


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