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Introduction to the Lexico-Grammar

11 Jun

The grammatical that we will develop is not a prescriptive but a descriptive grammar. Prescriptive grammars are grammars that impose moral judgments, that view grammar in terms of right or wrong, dos and don’t . An account of how we should speak is a prescriptive or normative grammar. That grammar tell us about the values and prejudices of society in a given time, while a descriptive grammar is an account of how speakers usually use the language: the pattern and the structure they use. Here our descriptive goal means that we will explain the constraints of the use standards or not standard forms but not the usages of right / wrong or good/bad. A descriptive grammar will discuss about appropriacy or inappropriacy. The degree of appropriacy is assessed not in terms of arbitrary blanket statements about inflexible grammatical rules but as statements about grammar has to do is specify the contextual dimensions of appropriacy for different choices. For example when we explain the sentences I seen the movie yesterday or What did youz all used to do ? , our descriptive grammar would explain that non standards use of past participle for the simple past (seen) or the form youz as a plural personal pronoun, while quite appropriate in situations of informality ( e.g. among peers, where there is equal power, high affect, frequent contact), are inappropriate in formal situations ( unequal power,etc), as such forms have become carriers of certain socio-economic information ( e.g social class), and the overt display of such information interferes with an implicit ideological belief ( fantasy) that we interact with others as equals.

The exploration of lexico-grammatical level of language can be found  from the function of grammar.

The languages have the intermediate level of grammatical coding. Here we could extend the traffict light system. Two strategies could be used to develop the system. Firstly new contents could be added to the system, second contents could be fused – i.e. we could try to use the system to make more than one meaning at a time. Language is very different from the traffic lights. The explanation for this difference lies in the fact that language is not a bi-unique semiotic system. Thus, language has an unlimited creative potential.

What makes language different is that it has an intermediate level of lexico-grammar, what we more informally refer to simply as grammatical level. The function of this grammatical level is to free language from the constraints of bi-uniqueness. It means that in language we use finite means to realize infinite ends. In extending language, the creative potential of languages is not limited to the creation of new words and their automatic availability for use in grammatical structures. We can also use the grammatical repertoire of the language to make a meaning in an untypical,” creatively different”way.

We can also use non-typical structures to express meanings in ways that can be highly sensitive to contextual constraints is one kind of grammatical methaphor because it is  also part of the creative potential that grammar offers language users.

Simultaneous meanings in language occurs by inventing new signs which then get incorporated into the lexico grammar of the language, by simply arranging existing signs in different ways, or by using existing structure in a typical ways. A simple example of this is an intonation contour.

Sentences “  Poached eggs are eaten by John “, Did John eat poached eggs?, John, eat poaches eggs” demonstrate that lexico-grammar enables language not only to make more meaning ( to provide an unlimited creative potential) – but also to mean several things at once. This is possible because the lexico grammar enables language to have several simultaneous layers of structure.

How do we do to make the lexico-grammar is organized so that its creative potential can be exploited? There are two ways, the first is that we find a number of different kinds of units, the second is that these units are related to each other through constituency – i.e. that smaller units make up bigger units, and bigger units are made up of smaller units.

We can begin to become aware of units of description/analysis by first of all considering the expression plane of language. It means that when we arrange the units of the graphological expression plane it becomes obvious that the units are related to each other through constituency: some units are bigger than other units, and each unit is made up one or more of units.

When we want to make the introduction  to systemic grammar manageable, two limits on its comprehensiveness have had to be imposed`:

  1. Focus on the clause: the various units of the rank scale, we will focus only on describing the structure of the clause. This is because the clause is generally recognized to be viotal unit of grammatical meaning, and also because patterns which can be identified for the clause have parallels for units of lower ranks. For example the structure of the text can be analysed by using tree diagram, bracketing, embedding or rank shift.
  2. Priority to functional labeling: although both class and functional labeling of constituents is essential in a comprehensive description of the clause, we will concentrate on exploring functional labeling and its implications, leaving class labels in the background. This is because it is this functional perspective that allows us to make explicit how the clause functions simultaneously to express different meanings.

There are some studies of some basic principles of systemic grammatical analysis. From that examines we know that the description of the lexico-grammar from a functional perspective was seen to involve the minimal bracketing of constituents and the consistent use of functional labeling. Since the constituents  of each clause can be demonstrated to be playing more than one functional role at a time, it is necessary to develop three sets of functional labels to describe how the clauses in a text realize interpersonal, experiential and textual meaning simultaneously.

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Posted by pada Juni 11, 2011 in Pengetahuan Bahasa

 

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