Grammar is one of the main linguistic disciplines which studies the grammatical system of language. The grammatical system is the whole set of regularities determining the combinations of words in the formation of utterances.
The foundations of systemic language description were formulated at the turn of the 20th century in the works of many linguists, among them the Russian linguists I. A. Baudoin de Courtenay, A. A. Potebnya and others. The originator of the systemic approach in linguistics is considered to be a Swiss scholar Ferdinand de Saussure. He was the first to divide the phenomenon of language in general (in French: ‘language’) into two sides: an ‘executive’ side (‘parole’), concerned with the production, transmission, and reception of speech, and an underlying language system (‘langue’). This is one of the basic postulates of modern systemic linguistics: language in general comprises two aspects: the system of special lingual units, languageproper, and the use of the lingual units, speech proper.
The units of language are of two types: segmental and supra-segmental. Segmental lingual units consist of phonemes, which are the smallest material segments of the language; segmental units form different strings of phonemes (morphemes, words, sentences, etc.). Supra-segmental lingual units do not exist by themselves, their forms are realized together with the forms of segmental units; nevertheless, they render meanings of various kinds, including grammatical meanings; they are: intonation contours, accents, pauses, patterns of word-order, etc. Cf., the change of word-order and intonation pattern in the following examples: He is at home (statement). – Is he at home? (question). Supra-segmental lingual units form the secondary line of speech, accompanying its primary phonemic line.
Segmental lingual units form a hierarchy of levels. The term ‘hierarchy’ denotes a structure in which the units of any higher level