<TED Worksheet (Free)>
48. Does grammar matter?
Andreea S. Calude
<4:23>   April 2016

 

Questions
(PDF)   (Word)

Answers
(PDF)   (Word)

Trascript

 

≪Key Vocabulary≫
Write the meaning(s) of each word. Write an example sentence (example sentences) if you need.

(1) linguistics

(2) interconnect

(3) realm

(4) establish

(5) propagate

(6) deviate

(7) corruption

(8) innovation

(9) exclusive

(10) regularity

(11) instinctive

(12) context




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≪Questions≫

  1. From the linguistics point of view, what is grammar?

 

 

  1. Which of the following statements is true?
  1. In English, the subject usually comes first, then the object, and finally the verb.  
  2. In Japanese, the subject normally comes first, followed by the verb, and then the object.
  3. Finding common patterns to all languages is difficult.
  4. Some languages do not need consistent patterns to function.

 

  1.  Prescriptivists’points of view is different from descriptivists’points of view. Describe how they are different.   

  <Prescriptivists point of view>

                                        

    <Descriptivists point of view>

                                        

 

  1.  Fill in the blanks.

For much of history,

the vast majority of language

was (1)                         .

                               

As people became more

interconnected and

(2)                       gained

importance,  (3)                      language

was standardized to allow

broader (4)                             .

                           

The standard form is usually

considered to be the only

(5)                           one.

                           

Language purists worked to

establish and (6)                    this

standard.

                           

Rules for written grammar were

applied to (7)                    language.

If your speech patterns were not

following the written rules,

people would consider that your

social rank to be (8)                     ,

and you would be forced to

adopt to the (9)                        form.

   

  1.  Why did some linguists start to believe that speech is a separate phenomenon from writing? Fill in the blanks.  

   Reason 1:  Because we form our

                      spoken repertoire

                       through

                       (1)                   habits,

                       not memorizing

                      (2)                     .

  Reason 2:  Because speech uses

                      (3)               and

                      intonation for meaning,

                      its structure is often more

                     (4)                .

           <i.e.>
             ▸ avoiding complex

                 (5)                  that are hard to

                understand in real time

             ▸ making changes to avoid

                 awkward (6)                    

            ▸ removing (7)                    

                to make speech faster

 

  1.  Write “P”if the statement is about prescriptivism, and write “D”if the statement is about descriptivism.

a.   It is useful in formal

       contexts.            

b.  It provides insight into how

     our minds work.            

c.  It makes it easier for non-native

    speakers from different

    backgrounds to communicate.

             

 d.  It provides some hints into

       understanding how we

       instinctively structure our

       view of the world.

                 




================

≪Answers:Does grammar matter?≫

  1. From the linguistics point of view, what is grammar?

It is a set of patterns for how words are put together to form phrases or clauses, whether spoken or in writing.

 

  1. Which of the following statements is true?
  1. In English, the subject usually comes first, then the object, and finally the verb.  
  2. In Japanese, the subject normally comes first, followed by the verb, and then the object.
  3. Finding common patterns to all languages is difficult.
  4. Some languages do not need consistent patterns to function.

 

  1.  Prescriptivists’points of view is different from descriptivists’points of view. Describe how they are different.   

  <Prescriptivists point of view>

  any language should follow consistent rules  

    <Descriptivists point of view>

  variation and adaptation is a natural and necessary part of language 

 

  1.  Fill in the blanks.

For much of history,

the vast majority of language

was (1)  spoken  .

                               

As people became more

interconnected and

(2)  writing   gained

importance,  (3)  written    language

was standardized to allow

broader (4) communication  .

                           

The standard form is usually

considered to be the only

(5)  proper   one.

                           

Language purists worked to

establish and (6)  propagate   this

standard.

                           

Rules for written grammar were

applied to (7)   spoken  language.

If your speech patterns were not

following the written rules,

people would consider that your

social rank to be (8)  low   ,

and you would be forced to

adopt to the (9)  standardized   form.

   

  1.  Why did some linguists start to believe that speech is a separate phenomenon from writing? Fill in the blanks.  

   Reason 1:  Because we form our

                      spoken repertoire

                       through

                       (1) unconscious  habits,

                       not memorizing

                      (2) rule   .

  Reason 2:  Because speech uses

                      (3)  mood   and

                      intonation for meaning,

                      its structure is often more

                     (4)  flexible  .

           <i.e.>
             ▸ avoiding complex

                 (5)  clauses    that are hard to

                understand in real time

             ▸ making changes to avoid

                 awkward (6) pronunciation   

            ▸ removing (7) sounds   

                to make speech faster

 

  1.  Write “P”if the statement is about prescriptivism, and write “D”if the statement is about descriptivism.

a.   It is useful in formal

       contexts.      P    

b.  It provides insight into how

     our minds work.    D   

c.  It makes it easier for non-native

    speakers from different

    backgrounds to communicate.

      P   

 d.  It provides some hints into

       understanding how we

       instinctively structure our

       view of the world.

           D   
  

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