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Correctness In English Essay

563 words - 3 pages

'Correctness in language use is determined by what native speakers accept, not what grammarians dictate'.
Both prescriptive and descriptive complement the correctness in language. Because language is uniquely human, it tells a story about a people, it holds mysteries of their traditions, heritage as well as culture. Imposing grammar rules on the language that the native speakers; dictating how they ought to use their language does not mean that what was used initially was incorrect. The language that was used initially served its purpose for communication. However, in as much as the native speakers use their language to communicate, languages do have a structure. The structured language would commonly be referred to as the standard variety which has to be taught or learned in school. Thus the social context would be important in determining which approach is ...view middle of the document...

We are then forced to ask, why is whom necessary if most English speakers will not use it?
Frank Palmer wrote in Grammar: “What is correct and what is not correct is ultimately only a matter of what is accepted by society, for language is a matter of conventions within society.” John Lyons echoed this in Language and Linguistics: “There are no absolute standards of correctness in language.” Pullum, (2004)

Pullum. K.G.(2004) Ideology, Power, and Linguistic Theory: An unpublished paper about
prescriptivism. University of Carlifonia, Santa Cruz Retrieved on the 30 October, 2015

The lady jumped over the orange moon. We can judge this sentence as untrue or nonsensical but it is syntactically well formed. Fromkin, Rodman and Hyam,, (2011) states that Grammaticality does not depend on the truth of the sentence nor does it depend on whether real objects are being discussed or whether something is possible in the real world; for example, sentences referring to pregnant fathers can be grammatically correct. Additionally, English is a Subject Verb Object (SVO) language. In an SVO language the subject is followed by the verb followed by the object.
Subject Verb Object
The lady Jumped The orange moon

The words appear in the right order thus follows the rules of the English grammar. Added to the fact that this sentence is grammatically correct, it also highlights the creative nature of linguistic knowledge. This supports the notion that none of us is limited repertoire of expressions.

Importantly, Fromkin, Rodman and Hyam,, (2011) go on to say “a person’s ability to make grammaticality judgments does not depend on having heard the sentence before. You may never have heard or read the sentence but your syntactic knowledge tells you that it is grammatical.” This sentiment is reflected in the sentence, “The lady jumped over the orange moon.

Fromkin, V., Rodman, R., & Hyams, N. (2011). An introduction to language. Boston:

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