Structural Grammar

Topics: Linguistics, Grammar, Syntax Pages: 3 (1145 words) Published: September 16, 2012
PAPER 6 (DESCRIPTIVE LINGUISTICS) STRUCTURAL GRAMMAR Broadly speaking any grammar in which there is an attempt to describe the structure of grammatical sentences is structural grammar. But the term has come to refer more narrowly to the type of grammar brought to its maximum development in the early 1950's by such men like C. C. Fries and Zelling Harris. Structural grammar in this sense is characterized by the procedure known as substitution, by which word class membership is established and by which smaller structures are expanded to larger ones. The procedures and results of this structural grammar have been absorbed into Transformational Grammar where they appear in base components especially the branching rules. From many years, from at least the early 1930's until the late 1950, the most influential school of linguistics was one which is usually described as structural linguistics school associated mainly with American linguists, Bloomfield, C. C. Fries and Z. Harris. "Language" the main thesis of Bloomfield which was published in the early thirties upheld that language had a structure. But this statement in itself does not mean much. In one sense all linguists are structuralists because they all look for regularity and patterns. But Bloomfield and post-Bloomfieldian linguists envisaged language structure in a very limited way. In particular it was associated with the phoneme as the unit of phonology (sound system) and morpheme as the unit of grammar. As `cat' consists of /k/ / / and /t/. According to these linguists, both `phoneme' and `morpheme' are units of form and not of meaning although there was a considerable controversy whether morpheme should be regarded as meaningful or not. The essential sense in which the approach is structural is that language is to be actually composed of morphemes in sequence, that is, strings of morphemes, and similarly, though at different level, strings of phoneme. In 1951, Zelling Harris's "Method in Structural...
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