She believes that prescriptive grammar
is all but irrelevant to the language teaching classroom.
These are the main grammatical and stylistic recommendations that we read over and over again in style guides and prescriptive grammars
from their very beginnings, which--for German--can be placed in the seventeenth century and which we can still find in any modern publication advising readers on the ills of language decline and the benefits of speaking and writing properly.
I propose here that writing and editing decisions should be based not only on prescriptive grammar but also on "organic" grammar (the grammar "hard wired" in our brains), research in cognitive psychology and human factors, research in other relevant disciplines, and reflection.
When prescriptive grammar violates organic grammar, bad things can happen during the reading process.
For example, when writing for a highly educated audience that is intimately familiar with even arcane prescriptive grammar rules, breaking a rule to satisfy organic grammar may evoke a different kind of error detector, but an error detector nonetheless.
However, unless we understand both prescriptive grammar and organic grammar, we cannot call ourselves experts.
What follows are recommendations for possibly breaking the rules of prescriptive grammar to better serve the reading audience.
When it comes to agreement, organic and prescriptive grammar sometimes disagree.
Equipped with a clear and detailed methodological apparatus, it operates both as a short introduction to the principles and precepts of prescriptive grammar
, and as an extensive reference book setting out the constructions and phrases, concord phenomena and collocations which aroused the normative ire of eighteenth-century writers on the language.
Contemporary syntactic theory rejects the idea that prescriptive grammar
can provide students with any insights into how language works.
Although the prescriptive grammar
tradition stipulates the subjective case form, the objective case form is normally felt to be the natural one, particularly in informal style.
This is a short, prescriptive grammar
for university undergraduates.
Just as social rules describe the behavior of "proper women," so prescriptive grammars
set forth the rules for "proper English.
The degree to which prescriptive grammars
had a real influence on the process of standardization in German is still a matter of discussion, and the author believes that this larger question is best answered through detailed studies of particular structures (here, auxiliary tun) and, for purposes of comparison, less detailed analyses of the attitudes to and use of two other structures which became marked and ultimately disappeared from standard written language: polynegation (as in Es ist keiner unter denen nicht, 'there is not one among them') and the so-called Doppelperfekt ('double perfect') in place of standard pluperfect (as in Er hat gegessen gehabt, 'He had eaten', literally 'he has had eaten').
The preference of prescriptive grammars
and present day manuals and dictionaries of usage for whom as the form of the relative pronoun functioning as complement of a preposition follows immediately from the thesis that linguistic prescriptivism aims at the suppression of emerging alternatives in t he lexicon and in grammar (see Milroy -- Milroy 1985).