Stylistics and syntax : exploitation of mixed systems in English

UNCC Author/Contributor (non-UNCC co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ralf Thiede, Associate Professor of Linguistics (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC )
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Abstract: State curricula in English Language Arts are calling for grammar instruction to be folded into the teaching of writing, linguistic diversity / identity, and stylistic variation (as does the new North Carolina Course of Studies). Such a reorientation raises the stakes for teachers who will now teach advanced applications of something that is no longer taught as a subject: grammar. And traditional grammar, which sought descriptive adequacy in coherence, is a myopic guide to a language that provides a wealth of options and alternatives to be exploited by a writer / speaker. This article provides a survey of such choices among alternative morphosyntactic constructions (pre- and postnominal AP, inflected and periphrastic degree and possession), systems (inherent case vs. structural case assignment), and phi-features (strong vs. weak inflections) and demonstrates how alternative phi-features were put to use by Shakespeare for register in 'Romeo and Juliet.' It is argued that linguists training future teachers of English must familiarize their students with the paradigms of marked and unmarked choices that English so richly provides, or else we set those students up for failure when they are to respond to the changed rules of engagement in teaching grammar at public schools.

Additional Information

Southern Journal of Linguistics 33.2 (2009): 14-33
Language: English
Date: 2009
School grammar, Stylistics, Syntax, Pragmatics, Mixed systems, Phi-features

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