Presentation on theme: "Prescriptive vs. Descriptive"— Presentation transcript:
1 Prescriptive vs. Descriptive Attitudes toward grammar
2 Descriptive VS. Prescriptive grammar: What are rules? Prescriptive (traditional) approach:Attitudes toward language based on what is held to be “correct” by socially prestigious elements and by teachers
3 Prescriptive (traditional) approach This attitude evinces complete disregard for the way a community actually speaks
4 Prescriptive grammarCertain forms of language are seen as more “correct” than others as a result of the social prestige associated with their usersThe prescriptive attitude seeks to enforce those
5 Prescriptive grammar Examples of common prescriptive rules Do not use ‘ain’t’Do not use a preposition to end a sentence withPronounce the -ing at the end of words, not -in’Do not split infinitives:“to boldly go where man has never gone before”is wrong, they say
6 Descriptive VS. Prescriptive grammar Which of the following participles are “correct”?Kneel kneeled/kneltKnit knitted/knitLean leaned/leantLeap leaped/leaptBid bidden/bade
7 Which is “correct”? Buy bought/boughten Spell spelled/spelt Forecast forecast/forecastedShave shaved/shavenDive dove/divedDrag dragged/drug
8 Which is correct? Are people who use other forms stupid? Are they socially undesirable?Why do we think so?
9 Descriptive VS. Prescriptive grammar Descriptive approach:Observe principles that describe the way the language is actually spoken
10 Descriptive approachThe goal of the descriptive approach is a description and knowledge of rules (principles) of how the language is actually spoken
11 Descriptive grammar Examples: Many speakers pronounce ‘-in’ for the (-ing) suffixIn oral speech and most written language we say prepositions at the end of sentencesSome dialects of English do not pronounce –r after vowelsIn English, qualifying words often appear between the to and the verb in infinitive phrases: “to boldly go where man has never gone before”
12 Teaching grammar Descriptions of a language used for teaching purposes Do not confuse this with Prescriptive grammar — isn’t teaching for language learners based on how the language is spoken?
13 Linguistic competence knowledge of our language and ability (capacity) to produce utterances
14 Goal of study The goal of our study is descriptive By observing a language as it is actually usedWe can learn about the knowledge that speakers have of the language
15 Linguistic competence This involves our knowledge of how our language works
16 Linguistic competence This knowledge can be observed and described, in the form of the speech that results from itThus descriptive grammar
17 Communicative competence The linguist Del Hymes stated that if a child could make any possible sentence in the language, we would think he was insane
18 Communicative competence Our communicative competence involves our knowledge of the speech appropriate in each situationand how to do what we use language to do
19 Descriptive focus Our course emphasizes a descriptive focus We are interestedin the language that is actually usedhow speakers use itwhat they use it to do
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