QUESTION 22 -
CLASSIC vs. DESCRIPTIVE GRAMMAR
October 10, 2018
Based on our recent investigations, it came out that—surprisingly!—most linguists have absolutely no idea of what is the entire fuss about, with classic grammar
and descriptive grammar. Naturally, ordinary people are completely out of the loop.
This is not good, dear friends, because our World has become a large village, lately. Therefore, important information (as is, say, social/economical/political contracts, scientific data, statistics, rates,
new discoveries etc) need to be properly translated from English to other languages, and backwards. We can do that, but only if we use a single grammatical reference—an
adequate one that covers all the possible and impossible aspects of grammar.
On the other hand, this is an excellent opportunity to emphasize again that our company, Complement Control, offers classic grammar seminars, as the complete instrument
needed to control (any) written texts, regardless of their complexity. Now, truth is, we could have used an enhanced version of descriptive grammar instead, to build our seminar around it, only that trick doesn't
work. Descriptive grammar is just a limited, incomplete and, unfortunately, an incorrect interpretation of grammar. Why is that? How comes? Well, we are
going to explain things in
some details right on this page.
[Attention: theoretically, this article is addressed to (top) English language grammarians. However, it is also our intention to explain "things" as plain and logic as possible, so that (almost) anybody
should get a solid grasp of the entire problem.]
A. GRAMMATICAL ANALYSIS
Classic grammar has been developed over centuries, by thousand of intellectuals, some known plus very many unknown, English and foreign scholars alike.
classic grammar went on becoming, somehow, abandoned after the second WW, in favor of descriptive grammar.
Now, in spite of the modern fashion in grammar, O G POPA, the author of "Logically Structured English Grammar 4" (plus many other books), has been working
steadily, for the past 20 years, on vamping up classic grammar onto new (logic) perspectives. Consequently, classic grammar has evolved a lot, way beyond any recent endeavors of descriptive
The picture on right illustrates the processes involved in a classic grammar analysis. The directory sequence to follow is:
1. grammar principles;
2. syntactic functions (+case analyses);
3. morphologic elements.
The processes mentioned above are going to be detailed, more or less, in following paragraphs.
B. DESCRIPTIVE GRAMMAR ORIGINS
Whenever we intend to analyze something, the best thing possible is to start with a little bit of history, in order to explain "the cause" and "the roots" of things. As mentioned, descriptive grammar
captivated grammarians' attention after the 2nd WW. What happened, the IT programmers (plus many other scientists) went on developing the protocols on theoretical requirements of AI
As a result, a true AI needs to "understand" messages (to perfection), to learn from experience and from the environment (including from written
texts), and then to express itself (also perfectly clear). Such specialized requirements mean one thing only: AI must know grammar!
Now, in order to program a machine to understand grammar, all grammatical aspects need to be dissected to the finest and simplest "forms"—of the "0/1" type,
and that is
extremely difficult to program.
Consequently, teams of linguists, mathematicians, and programmers have elaborated a few "grammar protocols", each one developed as
a new mathematical interpretation of grammar. Those were
the very first "versions" of the future descriptive grammar.
C. WHAT IS THE NATURE OF DESCRIPTIVE GRAMMAR?
Please think of descriptive grammar as being a bunch of programmed grammatical modules for AI—for mechanical (logic) intelligence. Naturally, there are a lot of new
mathematical terms in this programmed-grammar, as a first important observation. So, is that a bad thing, or a good one? Well . . . neither; it has nothing to do with
being a good or a bad thing. You see, we already have grammatical terms, in classic grammar, for everything descriptive grammar attempts to re-name. Therefore, why
should we need new mathematical terms to rename the old, well known, grammatical ones; besides, what about the KISS principle?
C.2 The second interesting aspect about descriptive grammar is the way it was formed, in the first place. It has been mentioned previously that, in order to
program grammar for AI, a particularly deep level of details was imperatively needed. More specific, we are talking here about the level of "local groups/phrases"
that are currently analyzed in Morphology, in classic grammar, via "local agreements"—so, there is again nothing new under the sun, in reality.
Machines are able to understand only the concrete "form analyses" employed in Morphology, not the abstract "functional analyses" of
Sentence Syntax. Further,
AI needs to
understand the meaning of each word, within its local word-cluster (taken as one functional group/phrase). Overall, it seems that descriptive grammar is a phrase
driven analysis, as opposed to sentence analysis in classic grammar. Consequently, it comes out that descriptive grammar is an incomplete grammatical
interpretation, since it
is not finished at sentence level
Re-evaluated by O G POPA in LSEG4, it is sufficient to consider only sentences and expressions in
a classic grammatical analysis. Accordingly, there are a few specific requirements for a sentence to get qualified as being a "syntactic sentence"; otherwise, it remains a
Descriptive grammar ends its analysis at group/phrase level, for each word, intentionally, so that it remains an "open system
of endless possibilities"—the perfect
ground for countless grammatical speculations. Fine with us; however, descriptive grammar has no practical value, in society, since it is totally useless.
today is, education throughout the World has no universal, correct, logic grammatical interpretations to sustain it. That is a pandemic tragedy that has already manifested
itself in a
global economy crisis, hectic and unpredictable international and national politics, plus in a generalized terror, violence and vulgarism in our day to day social life. In addition, intelligent evolution, revolutionary inventions, plus
advanced intellectual developments are all severely impaired, due to the blunt descriptive grammar's lack of universal communication.
C.3 Another major characteristic of descriptive grammar is the fact that it works with the so called "morpho-syntax"
presumably implies that the linguists are free to mix syntactical notions with the morphological ones, to their hearts' content. No, Sirs, it doesn't work that way.
Morphology and syntax domains have nothing in common. Therefore, in order to relate morphological elements to syntactical functions we need to perform a
"case analysis" first.
The category of case works as an indicator, to help us relate one specific morphologic element to the corresponding syntactic functionality it has, within its
particular sentence structure. Unfortunately, the case has never been thoroughly investigated by the linguists, since ever, therefore most grammar books (and particularly
those published in the English nations) do not present, and they do not work properly with the category of case. That results in a mumbo-jumbo of grammar.
It is worth highlighting that O G POPA has developed the category of case as never before in grammar history. Consequently, grammatical correspondence between morphology and
syntax, via the (proper) case, is perfectly functional, logic, and . . . it simplifies the theory a lot!
Yes, except, all these advanced developments of grammar are presented to the public only orally, via seminars, beginning with 2018.
C.4 The final major characteristic of descriptive grammar is precisely . . . classic grammar! Regardless of any arguments
"modern linguists" would invoke, the entire descriptive grammar is only a non-functional fraction of the classic grammar, explained in different words. Note that
descriptive grammar has been developed, initially, from classic grammar, though only to suit the needs of the linguists for "an open system of endless
possibilities"—and that is the entire mystery about it. Aside from those dandy mathematical terms (totally inappropriate), descriptive grammar brings/explains
D. LATEST ACHIEVEMENTS IN CLASSIC GRAMMAR
If there is nothing new in descriptive grammar, there are plenty of exciting developments in classic grammar, as it is presented in "Principles Functions and Elements
of Grammar" [PFEG] ISBN 978 606 92635 87. This book is unpublished, and it will remain unpublished since
it is our intention to present it orally, in seminars—for the
True, those seminars could be rather expensive, and they do require some serious organization. Only a national organization, or a privately funded large institution, could afford to setup such an
important grammatical event. Therefore, to sweeten the deal, the author offers a "replication license", so that generations after generations of students/teachers should get
a proper training in classic grammar. Note that this classic grammar licensed course can later be improved as much as it takes; important is only to enhance national education using
a complete grammatical system—the best one possible on the Planet!
Now, back to the latest achievements in classic grammar, we present here only a glimpse of the bird's eye view.
1. Particularly important—fundamentally, in fact—in PFEG are presented the requirements needed to qualify sentences.
2. The entire Morphology is presented in a most simple and logic pedagogical format, to help the students most.
3. The mechanism of "Relational-Logic Syntactic Framework" [© O G POPA] simplifies the entire Sentence Syntax functionality dramatically, to just "the bare bones".
4. The backbone of Sentence Syntax, the Predicate, is presented correctly, as never before in grammar history.
5. Sentence Syntax analysis is
seamlessly extended to Complex Sentence Syntax analysis.
6. Fundamental notions of (the literary) Style, particularly those that take precedence over grammar, are explained in "live" discriminating examples.
7. Using Punctuation to control grammar comes in a complete, compact presentation, marked by exhaustive examples + comments.
8. Plus many, many more tiny aspects needed to assembly a complete, pedagogical, grammatical instrument: the most simple possible, entirely functional and logic,
and valid for any language on the Planet (and in the Universe).
As mentioned, the PFEG seminar presentation is addressed to linguist professionals and top specialists; for ordinary people, and also for students,
teachers, instructors, educators, etc we have "Logically Structured English Grammar 4" book,
plus "LSEG4-Exercises Workbook"—they help a lot!
The complete, easy to learn, Logically Structured English Grammar 4: theory plus exercises!