Note to self: grammar describe languages rather than define them. Languages emerge and grammar classifies and describes what has emerged. I’ve touched on this before, in the context of natural and artificial languages (and other things).

I mentioned language reforms, but today I thought about which role the grammar plays in a language reform, whether it drives the reform or if it’s subject to changes sprung from changes in how people use the language, in text and speech.

Many people, I think, see grammar as rules. But with our mother tongue, we don’t learn the language via learning its grammar. Instead, we have an instinctive feel for the grammar. A while ago, I read about a guy that was interested in dead languages, and he said that he approached each language via its grammar, and then learned it by reading texts.

Oh, got to go.

The above was posted to my personal weblog on July 29, 2003. My name is Peter Lindberg and I am a thirtysomething software developer and dad living in Stockholm, Sweden. Here, you’ll find posts in English and Swedish about whatever happens to interest me for the moment.


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