Category Archives: Grammar

Auxiliary Verbs

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Auxiliary verbs form a closed class As well as the huge number of lexical verbs, there is a limited number of so-called auxiliary verbs. As the membership is restricted and as it is not easy to add new ones, auxiliary verbs (like numerals, determiners, pronouns, prepositions and conjunctions) form a closed word class. Auxiliary verbs […]

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Lexical Verbs

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Lexical verbs form an open class We know that lexical words are the main carriers of meaning in a spoken utterance or written sentence. They are the most numerous type of word and they are all members of open classes, i.e. more lexical words can be invented and added – in principle, there is no […]

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Three classes of verb So-called main verbs are typically the most important element in a clause, taking the central role. In contrast, auxiliary verbs are usually placed before a main verb and serve to qualify the meaning of the main verb. The word class of verbs can be grouped into three subgroups, depending on their […]

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Grammar of Spoken Language

grammar of spoken language

The grammar of spoken language differs in several respects from that of written language. Its use of heads, tails, ellipsis, boundary markers, and other features used in formal and informal speech, suggests that spoken language has its own grammar.

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Grammar and the Speaker

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Meaningful units If you were asked what the meaningful units of language were called you would probably say ‘words’. Look at the words in the following utterances: Bill hit Bob Bob hit Bill Do the words mean the same thing in each utterance? Do the two utterances mean the same thing? Obviously the answer to […]

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Grammatical Description

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Grammatical description varies. Grammars can be descriptive, prescriptive or pedagogic. Speech therapists predominantly use a descriptive grammar but will adopt elements of pedagogic grammars when teaching clients.

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The grammar of a language is the set of subconscious rules we use to formulate phrases and longer speech utterances. This article defines several parts of grammar, including phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics. It also introduces the concept of word classes. In doing so, it establishes the meaning of some key terms that allow us to share ideas about language and language disorder, and to talk about how human language works.

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