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Which way is your way?

(L)anguage is a set of rules, rules for specifying structures; so grammar is a set of rules for specifying grammatical structures, such as the construction of a transitive sentence with 'verb + object'. This perspective is that of logic and philosophy, e.g. in the foregrounding of the sentence as the basic unit of language, organized on a logical model into Subject + Predicate. Since the sentence is the basic unit, it is studied in isolation.

(L)anguage is a resource, a resource for making meanings; so grammar is a resource for creating meaning by means of wording. This perspective is that of rhetoric and ethnography, e.g. in the foregrounding of text (discourse) as the basic unit of language, organized according to the rhetorical context. Since text is the basic unit, the sentence is studied in its discourse environment.

http://minerva.ling.mq.edu.au/resource/VirtuallLibrary/Publications/sfg_firststep/SFG%20intro%20N...
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The first is a definition of syntax, the second of grammar. Both are important.
Do you prefer theory over the other?
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The first sounds like a description of grammar, and the second sounds more like sociolinguistics - language in its social context. I don't think you can choose between them since they are quite different fields.

Although the first paragraph is a bit limiting in talking about verbs, objects, subjects and predicates, since not all languages have those things.
AlienvoordThe first sounds like a description of grammar, and the second sounds more like sociolinguistics - language in its social context. I don't think you can choose between them since they are quite different fields.

Although the first paragraph is a bit limiting in talking about verbs, objects, subjects and predicates, since not all languages have those things.
What is your definition of grammar?
MilkyDo you prefer theory over the other?
I don't. They approach things in a diiferent way, the first is an atomistic bottom up analysis, the second is a top down holistic analysis. We need to encourage our students to do both to write well. However, I would say that the former is more needed for lower level students and the later for higher level students.
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MilkyWhat is your definition of grammar?
The rules that speakers and listeners follow when they produce and comprehend language.
Alienvoord
Milky
What is your definition of grammar?

The rules that speakers and listeners follow when they produce and comprehend language.
And those rules often include advice on use in context, don't they?

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MilkyAnd those rules often include advice on use in context, don't they?

No. For the most part, grammar is unconsciously acquired and used. I should say that I'm talking about native speakers. If you're talking about teaching English as a second language, I don't know much about that yet.
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