The history of grammatical study of the English language

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Министерство образования Республики Беларусь Учреждение образования «Гомельский государственный университет им. Ф. Скорины» Филологический факультет THE HISTORY OF GRAMMATICAL STUDY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE Курсовая работа Исполнитель: Студентка группы К-53 Ковалева Т.Е. Гомель 2006 Содержание Introduction 1 English language 2 History of grammatical study Conclusion Literature Introduction "Grammatica quid est? ars recte scribendi recteque loquendi; poetarum enarrationem continens; omnium Scientiarum fons uberrimus. * * * Nostra atas parum perita rerum veterum, nimis brevi

gyro grammaticum sepsit; at apud antiques olim tantum auctoritatis hic ordo habuit, ut censores essent et judices scriptorum omnium soli grammatici; quos ob id etiam Criticos vocabant."--DESPAUTER. _Praf. ad Synt_, fol. 1. Such is the peculiar power of language, that there is scarcely any subject so trifling, that it may not thereby be plausibly magnified into something great; nor are there many things which cannot be ingeniously disparaged till they shall seem contemptible. Cicero goes further: "Nihil est tam incredibile quod non dicendo fiat probabile;"--"There is nothing so incredible that it may not by the power of language be made probable." The study of grammar has been often overrated, and still oftener injuriously decried. I shall neither join

with those who would lessen in the public esteem that general system of doctrines, which from time immemorial has been taught as grammar; nor attempt, either by magnifying its practical results, or by decking it out with my own imaginings, to invest it with any artificial or extraneous importance. I shall not follow the footsteps of Neef, who avers that, "Grammar and incongruity are identical things," and who, under pretence of reaching the same end by better means, scornfully rejects as nonsense every thing that others have taught under that name; because I am convinced, that, of all methods of teaching, none goes farther than his, to prove the reproachful assertion true. Nor shall I imitate the declamation of _Cardell_; who, at the commencement of his Essay,

recommends the general study of language on earth, from the consideration that, "The faculty of speech is the medium of social bliss for superior intelligences in an eternal world;" [51] and who, when he has exhausted censure in condemning the practical instruction of others, thus lavishes praise, in both his grammars, upon that formless, void, and incomprehensible theory of his own: "This application of words," says he, "in their endless use, by one plain rule, to all things which nouns can name, instead of being the fit subject of blind cavil, _is the most sublime theme presented to the intellect on earth. It is the practical intercourse of the soul at once with its God, and with all parts of his works!_"--_Cardell's Gram._, 12mo, p. 87; _Gram._,

18mo, p. 49. Here, indeed, a wide prospect opens before us; but he who traces science, and teaches what is practically useful, must check imagination, and be content with sober truth. "For apt the mind or fancy is to rove Uncheck'd, and of her roving is no end."--MILTON. Restricted within its proper limits, and viewed in its true light, the practical science of grammar has an intrinsic dignity and merit sufficient to throw back upon any man who dares openly assail it, the lasting stigma of folly and self-conceit. It is true, the judgements of men are fallible, and many opinions are liable to be reversed by better knowledge: but what has been long established by the unanimous concurrence of the learned, it can hardly be the part of a wise instructor now to dispute. The