Sunday, 11 May 2008
EIGHT PARTS OF SPEECH
According to the Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia, grammar is a branch of linguistics dealing with the form and structure of words and their interrelation in sentences. The study of grammar reveals how language works.
On the other hand, The Chicago Manual of Style and Usage pointed out that grammar consists of the rules governing how words are put together into sentences. These rules, which native speakers of a language learn largely by osmosis, govern most constructions in a given language. The small minority of constructions that lie outside these rules fall mostly into the category of idiom and usage.
As traditionally understood, grammar is both and art and a science. Often it has focused—as it does here—on parts of speech and their syntax. Traditional grammar has held that there are eight parts of speech: nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections. Somewhat surprisingly, modern grammarians cannot agree on precisely how many parts of speech there are in the English language. At least one grammarian says there are as few as three. Another insists that there are “about 15”, noting that “the precise number is still being debated.” The unit deals with the traditional eight, sketching some of the main lines of English grammar using traditional grammatical terms.