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rinoceronteThe authoritative source of what you call a "theory" is not likely to exist.
Hi Rino;
Thanks for your answer, but I was citing your prior posting in which you said that English is at war with its "theory." I didn't use the word "theory," you did, and I was simply asking where you found this theory. Or is it your own innovation - this "theoretical grammar" that you teach your students?
AlpheccaStars
rinoceronteThe authoritative source of what you call a "theory" is not likely to exist.
Hi Rino;Thanks for your answer, but I was citing your prior posting in which you said that English is at war with its "theory." I didn't use the word "theory," you did, and I was simply asking where you found this theory. Or is it your own innovation - this "theoretical grammar" that you teach your students?
Hi Alfecca,
The English practical grammar that is being used in the world (or, to be more specific, the variety of practical grammars) is based on some basement, isn't it? Can you call the excavated basement an innovation?
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rinoceronteHi Alfecca,
The English practical grammar that is being used in the world (or, to be more specific, the variety of practical grammars) is based on some basement, isn't it? Can you call the excavated basement an innovation?
I have not heard of the term "basement" used in the context of English grammar before, so I'm not sure if there is one or not. But I suppose, by analogy with archaeology, there can be an innovation if there is a novel and surprising discovery made during an excavation.

I know that Modern English that can trace its origins to Breton, Anglo-Saxon, Old French, etc., and, (if you go far enough back in time), to Indo-European. Its vocabulary has also been greatly influenced by Latin and Greek.
Over the ages, the language has evolved so much that today's language is barely recognizable from its oldest known form. Modern English speakers cannot understand Old English without studying it as much as they would a foreign language.
The process of change continues even today.
AlpheccaStars
rinoceronteHi Alfecca,The English practical grammar that is being used in the world (or, to be more specific, the variety of practical grammars) is based on some basement, isn't it? Can you call the excavated basement an innovation?
I have not heard of the term "basement" used in the context of English grammar before, so I'm not sure if there is one or not. But I suppose, by analogy with archaeology, there can be an innovation if there is a novel and surprising discovery made during an excavation. I know that Modern English that can trace its origins to Breton, Anglo-Saxon, Old French, etc., and, (if you go far enough back in time), to Indo-European. Its vocabulary has also been greatly influenced by Latin and Greek. Over the ages, the language has evolved so much that today's language is barely recognizable from its oldest known form. Modern English speakers cannot understand Old English without studying it as much as they would a foreign language. The process of change continues even today.
What I called "basement" other people call "theory". A set of logical reasons for grammatical notions and categories to exist. In my native language the difference between theoretical and practical grammars almost does not exist. The basement is of so high quality, that it's almost impossible to use the language against its logical grounds. In Spanish it's also quite rigid, although it gives some slack in certain places (subjunctive, conditional, unnecessary tenses). But English for some reasons allowed itself to be mangled completely. The key notions contradict to themselves. A tangled fishing net, which I'm trying to untangle.
rinoceronteIn my native language the difference between theoretical and practical grammars almost does not exist. ..... But English for some reasons allowed itself to be mangled completely.
Perhaps English is much more egalitarian and plebian than yours. The Kings of England in the early days (1066- mid 1300's ) did not speak English at all, so it developed among the commoners. Indeed, English is unique in that it has been shaped and influenced by many cultures and languages along its historical path. There was never a cloistering of English, there was never an "academy" to constrict its growth, and words and phrases were shamelessly and enthusiastically absorbed from other languages. If an introduced new language feature was useful, it survived; if not, it fell out of use and died.

So, without intending malice or insult, I'd describe English as a mongrel language. But like mongrel dogs, it is strong and vibrant; not inbred in the least. There are also an incredible number of different dialects and regional variations. For example, the grammar of African American Vernacular differs in its use of verbs from the American mainstream version.

The Economist recently did a survey on the topic: "Should American English be recognized as the international standard?" This set off a lot of controversy. Many responders thought that such a standard was not appropriate. So it will continue to evolve among its practitioners in the same unconstrained fashion as befits its history.
rinoceronteA tangled fishing net, which I'm trying to untangle.
Well, I applaud your effort if it will help you as a teacher. Sometimes it is very constructive to compare the learners' native language with the foreign language they are trying to learn. Other times, it only adds to the confusion.
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AlpheccaStarsPerhaps English is much more egalitarian and plebian than yours
No. It has huge amount of advantages, and for that reason it was, obviously, chosen as the language for international communication. My language is highly irrational, but that is not a system error. As a system it's perfect. Yours is rational, but contaminated with certain "viruses", spreading the system errors. As a system it virtually does not exist. The point is that it needs several patches to recover. Quite few. Otherwise the rest of the world - aspectful world - simply ignores the rules of the crooked and unapprehendable English grammar. People ignore the stative verbs rule, and reasonably; people ignore your definitions of your tenses and the markers you attribute to those tenses, and reasonably. That's what I try to convey as a representative of "aspectful" grammar.
AlpheccaStarsWell, I applaud your effort if it will help you as a teacher. Sometimes it is very constructive to compare the learners' native language with the foreign language they are trying to learn. Other times, it only adds to the confusion.
My point is compare not only the source language and the target language, but to compare all existing languages (or at least, as many as possible). That's what I call Comparative Linguistics Approach, and that's what I thinks should be the approach for teaching English (or any other language) in the third millennium. Regards.
rinoceronteMy point is compare not only the source language and the target language, but to compare all existing languages (or at least, as many as possible).
Nevertheless, to the outsider, you seem to be selecting one privileged language for the standard -- for the basis of comparison -- namely, your own language, which seems to be a Slavic language like Russian, in which "vid" (aspect) is much more important -- or at least much more grammaticalized -- than it is in other languages.

CJ
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CalifJim
rinoceronteMy point is compare not only the source language and the target language, but to compare all existing languages (or at least, as many as possible).
Nevertheless, to the outsider, you seem to be selecting one privileged language for the standard -- for the basis of comparison -- namely, your own language, which seems to be a Slavic language like Russian, in which "vid" (aspect) is much more important -- or at least much more grammaticalized -- than it is in other languages.CJ
You are right, in Slavic languages the aspect is grammaticalized as in no other language. But these languages are not needed to be used as standards. What is needed indeed is just introduction of the aspect, admitting its existence. In fact, I have always been considering Russian language as highly irrational. For example, in Spanish the aspect is also grammaticalized quite enough. From the aspect point of view English is not against some specific language. It's against the rest of the world.
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