End of ADS-L Digest - 9 Feb 1994 to 10 Feb 1994 *********************************************** There are 16 messages totalling 323 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. An English Grammar Text (6) 2. blue laws, monkeys (3) 3. List Mail Oddities 4. A rara avis 5. SPARROW-COUGH, ETC. 6. Monkeys 7. terms of venery, primate order 8. Monkeys & blue laws 9. Mango ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 11 Feb 1994 00:13:36 -0700 From: Rudy Troike Subject: Re: An English Grammar Text Tim, Here at the University of Arizona, we give students a pure diet of 1963-era Transformational-Generative grammar, building that on a required course in the History of English. We do try to show them how tree diagrams relate to Reed-Kellogg diagrams, and try to disabuse them of simplistic elementary-school notional definitions of sentence, subject, and parts of speech, etc. (including debunking the notions that gender is a matter of sex and that "possessives" are really that --genitive remains the better term). Last year we used a text by Kaplan which is good but requires a good bit of supplementation, so this year we have gone back to Veit, Discovering English Grammar, which has much better coverage of the grammar and lots of exercises. It has its careless moments, as most texts do. We supplement it with material on English phonology and lots of transcription practice, leading into spelling rules and the Great Vowel Shift, and with sociolinguistic stuff using Peter Trudgill's Sociolinguistics. It is a pretty heavy load for one semester, and really almost too much for summer, though we do manage to cover most of it even then. I think early TG grammar still gives the best insights into things like passives, relativization, question formation, and nominalizations, and makes coherent sense out of it all in a way that no other model does, particularly for practical teaching purposes, since it builds on native-speaker intuition. While I am currently trying to keep up with Chomsky's Minimalist model (which has replaced GB), I don't think it is any more usable for classroom teachers than quantum physics is for introductory high school science. I retain a certain fondness for Reed-Kellogg diagrams, though they are pretty stultifying and non-dynamic, unlike transformational-generative grammar. Rudy Troike