From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Quotes requiring editorial work[edit]

The following quotes are
  • not relevant to article theme
  • not from a notable source
  • not grammatical
Music historians have learned that the language and approach of musical theory in the Middle Ages were borrowed directly from medieval grammar and rhetoric. - Thomas Binkley.
  • And onward to the last of our schoolmasters in the highest university, it is still intrinsically grammar, under various figures grammar. To speak in various languages, on various things, but on all of them to speak, and appropriately deliver ourselfs by tongue or pen…
  • I don't know of any thing in my book to be criticised on by honourable men. Is it on my spelling? — that's not my trade. Is it on my grammar? — I hadn't time to learn it, and make no pretensions to it. Is it on the order and arrangement of my book? — I never wrote one before, and never read very many; and, of course, know mighty little about that. Will it be on the authorship of the book? — this I claim, and I hang on to it, like a wax plaster. The whole book is my own, and every sentiment and sentence in it. I would not be such a fool, or knave either, as to deny that I have had it hastily run over by a friend or so, and that some little alterations have been made in the spelling and grammar; and I am not so sure that it is not the worse of even that, for I despise this way of spelling contrary to nature. And as for grammar, it's pretty much a thing of nothing at last, after all the fuss that's made about it. In some places, I wouldn't suffer either the spelling, or grammar, or any thing else to be touch'd; and therefore it will be found in my own way. But if any body complains that I have had it looked over, I can only say to him, her, or them — as the case may be — that while critics were learning grammar, and learning to spell, I, and "Doctor Jackson, L.L.D." were fighting in the wars; and if our hooks, and messages, and proclamations, and cabinet writings, and so forth, and so on, should need a little looking over, and a little correcting of the spelling and the grammar to make them fit for use, its just nobody's business. Big men have more important matters to attend to than crossing their ts—, and dotting their i's—, and such like small things.
  • I wish to write down my musical dreams in a spirit of utter self-detachment. I wish to sing of my interior visions with the naïve candour of a child. No doubt, this simple musical grammar will jar on some people. It is bound to offend the partisans of deceit and artifice. I foresee that and rejoice at it.
  • A treatise called Astadhyayi (or Astaka) is Panini's major work. It consists of eight chapters, each subdivided into quarter chapters. In this work Panini distinguishes between the language of sacred texts and the usual language of communication. Panini gives formal production rules and definitions to describe Sanskrit grammar. Starting with about 1700 basic elements like nouns, verbs, vowels, consonants he put them into classes. The construction of sentences, compound nouns etc., is explained as ordered rules operating on underlying structures in a manner similar to modern theory. In many ways Panini's constructions are similar to the way that a mathematical function is defined today., and March 4 is the perfect day to do it. It's not only a date, it's an imperative: March forth on March 4 to speak well, write well, and help others do the same!
    • Ratnesh Dwivedi in: "An Analytical Study of 'Sanskrit' and 'Panini' as Foundation of Speech Communication in India and the World".
  • I shall here present the view that numbers, even whole numbers, are words, parts of speech, and that mathematics is their grammar. Numbers were therefore invented by people in the same sense that language, both written and spoken, was invented. Grammar is also an invention. Words and numbers have no existence separate from the people who use them. Knowledge of mathematics is transmitted from one generation to another, and it changes in the same slow way that language changes. Continuity is provided by the process of oral or written transmission.

G - L[edit]

  • The author of the oldest extant Sanskrit grammar was Panini, a native of extreme north-west India, ... His work consists of nearly 4000 aphorisms, each of which owing to the extreme conciseness of the style, generally consists of not more than two or three words. Hence, the whole grammar could be printed within the compass of about thirty-five octavo pages. Yet it describes the entire Sanskrit language with a completeness which has never been equalled elsewhere. Thus it is at once the shortest and the fullest grammar in the world.
  • Let schoolmasters puzzle their brain,
    With grammar, and nonsense, and learning;
    Good liquor, I stoutly maintain,
    Gives genus a better discerning,
    Let them brag of their heathenish gods,
    Their Lethes, their Styxes, and Stygians :
    Their quis, and their qute's, and their quod's,
    They're all but a parcel of pigeons.
    Toroddle, toroddle, toroddle.
  • Traditionally, the mental information used to produce and process linguistic utterances is referred to as "rules." However, other frameworks employ different terminology, with theoretical implications. Optimality theory, for example, talks in terms of "constraints," while construction grammar, cognitive grammar, and other "usage-based" theories make reference to patterns, constructions, and "schemata".
  • Grammar as a noun was used in early 14century. Gramar was used in surnames in 12century. It is derived from Old French gramaire "learning," especially Latin and philology, "grammar, (magic) incantation, spells, mumbo-jumbo," "irregular semi-popular adoption" [OED] of Latin grammatica, from Greek grammatike tekhne "art of letters," with a sense of both philology and literature in the broadest sense, fem. adjective from gramma "letter," from stem of graphein "to draw or write". An Old English word for it was stæfcræft.
    • Grammar in: "Grammar (n.)"
  • Form grammar is from late 14th century. Restriction to "rules of language" is a post-classical development, but as this type of study was until 16th century, limited to Latin, Middle English gramarye also came to mean "learning in general, knowledge peculiar to the learned classes" (early 14th century.), which included astrology and magic; hence the secondary meaning of "occult knowledge" (late 15century.), which evolved in Scottish into glamor.
    • Grammar in: "Grammar (n.)"
  • A grammar school (late 14th century) originally was "a school in which the learned languages are grammatically taught" [Johnson, who also has grammaticaster "a mean verbal pedant"]. In U.S. (1842) the term was put to use in the graded system for a school between primary and secondary where English grammar is taught.
    • Grammar in: "Grammar (n.)"
  • Traditionally, grammar has always been a grammar of written language: and it has always been a product grammar" ['Product' is here used as one term of the Hjelmslevian pair process/product.]. A process/product distinction is a relevant one for linguists because it corresponds to that between our experience of speech and our experience of writing: writing exists whereas speech happens.
  • Nothing could go wrong because nothing had...I meant "nothing would." No - Then I quit trying to phrase it, realizing that if time travel ever became widespread, English grammar was going to have to add a whole new set of tenses to describe reflexive situations - conjugations that would make the French literary tenses and the Latin historical tenses look simple.”
  • The most interesting non-Western grammatical tradition—and the most original and independent—is that of India, which dates back at least two and one-half millennia and which culminates with the grammar of Panini, of the 5th century BCE. There are three major ways in which the Sanskrit tradition has had an impact on modern linguistic scholarship.
  • Thus the founders of grammar were Sibawaih and after him, al-Farisi and Az-Zajjaj. All of them were of Persian descent...they invented rules of (Arabic) grammar...great jurists were Persians… only the Persians engaged in the task of preserving knowledge and writing systematic scholarly works. Thus the truth of the statement of the prophet becomes apparent, "If learning were suspended in the highest parts of heaven the Persians would attain it"....The intellectual sciences were also the preserve of the Persians, left alone by the Arabs, who did not cultivate was the case with all crafts...This situation continued in the cities as long as the Persians and Persian countries, Iraq, Khorasan and Transoxiana (modern Central Asia), retained their sedentary culture.
  • The ancient Kannada grammarians held the study of grammar in high esteem, as may be learned from the following words of the author of the Sabdaamnidarpana: " Through grammar (correct) words originate, through the words of that grammar meaning the beholding of truth the desired final beatitude.
    • Ferdinand Kittel in: "A Grammar of the Kannada Language: Comprising the Three Dialects of the Language (ancient, Medieval and Modern)", p. 3.
  • Nouns, a broad classification in Tamil grammatical terminology, include common and proper nouns, numerals, pronouns and some so-called adjectives; they inflect for case, person, number (singular and plural), and gender. There are two genders which are based on the referent's natural gender and correspond roughly to the distinction human/nonhuman; they are called "rational" (e.g., nouns referring to men, deities, women in some dialects) and "irrational" (e.g., women in some dialects, children, animals) respectively. There are 8 cases (nominative, accusative, dative, sociative, genitive, instrumental, locative, and ablative).
    • Centre for World Languages in: Tamil, UCLA International Institute, Centre for World Languages
  • Verbs are formally inflected principally for mood and tense by a grammatical particle suffixed to the stem. Most verbs also mark affective and effective "voice" (not equivalent to the notions "transitivity" or "causation") where the former indicates that the subject undergoes the action named by the stem, and the latter signals that the subject directs the action of the stem. Mood is also marked implicitly by grammatical formatives which also mark tense categories. These signal that the verbal event is, for example, unreal, possible, potential, or a real, and actual. There are three simple tenses (past, present, and future), and a series of perfects.
    • Centre for World Languages in: "Tamil"
  • The grammar, seen as the system of rules and options underlying usage, has been very stable for the past few centuries. What might have changed, though, are stylistic conventions or expectations of formality.
    • Geoffrey Leech et al., in: "Change in Contemporary English: A Grammatical Study", p. 4.
  • Grammar is probably the level on which the English language has changed most radically in the course of its recorded history, and this is noted in treatments of Old and Middle English.
    • Geoffrey Leech et al., in: "Change in Contemporary English: A Grammatical Study", p. 7.
  • Although there has been considerable grammatical change in the past, English grammar in our life time is somehow uniquely stable and free from change.
    • Geoffrey Leech et al., in: "Change in Contemporary English: A Grammatical Study", p. 7.
  • In the history of English, verbal constructions (use of the progressive constructions and and also semi-modals) have been recognized as classic cases of the grammaticalization process... Grammaticalization has in the past provided a neat explanation of how main—verb constructions have progressively evolved towards auxiliary verb constructions.
    • Geoffrey Leech et al., in: "Change in Contemporary English: A Grammatical Study", p. 49.
  • Besides loans from Sanskrit, and some borrowing from Persian and Arabic, English in modern times has supplied a lot of loan words, but because of the emphasis on linguistic purism in Tamil grammatical tradition loans are assimilated to the phonological system.
    • Centre for World Languages in: "Tamil"

M - R[edit]

  • We cannot describe how the mind is made without having good ways to describe complicated processes. Before computers, no languages were good for that. Piaget tried algebra and Freud tried diagrams; other psychologists used Markov Chains and matrices, but none came to much. Behaviorists, quite properly, had ceased to speak at all. Linguists flocked to formal syntax, and made progress for a time but reached a limit: transformational grammar shows the contents of the registers (so to speak), but has no way to describe what controls them. This makes it hard to say how surface speech relates to underlying designation and intent–a baby-and-bath-water situation. I prefer ideas from AI research because there we tend to seek procedural description first, which seems more appropriate for mental matters.
Grammar, which knows how to control even kings. - Molière
  • Brazilian Portuguese (português brasileiro) is a romance language from the indo-european family. Originating from Portugal, it has evolved separately from European Portuguese since the 16th century, both in spelling and pronunciation. It is regulated by the Brazilian Academy of Letters (Academia Brasileira de Letras).
  • No more than in red lips unsmiling
    Can I find anything beguiling in grammar-perfect Russian speech.
    What purist magazines beseech,
    A novel breed of belles may heed it
    And bend us (for my life of sin)
    To strict grammatic discipline,
    Prescribing meter, too, where needed; But I— what is all this to me?
    I like things as they used to be
  • The question of "unreality," which confronts us at this point, is a very important one. Misled by grammar, the great majority of those logicians who have dealt with this question have dealt with it on mistaken lines.

S - Z[edit]

  • A Grammarian is so.
    Is a word.
    To look back in the direction in which they came
    To look back in the way they had come. Now you that means that others had come and others look back in the direction that others had come.
  • Grammar little by little is not a thing. Which may gain.
    Perhaps means that the old grammar is gone or grammar is not one thing but many, a flexible capacity to join words.
    • Gertrude Stein in: "Gertrude Stein: The Language That Rises: 1923-1934", p. 402.
  • I can do it so easily it always makes grammar but is it grammar.
    She praises her struggle for invention.
    She plays with numbers, which her grammar liberates from numbers' rules as it liberates words from the rules of traditional grammar.
    The essence of grammar is it is freed of following.
    • Gertrude Stein in: "Gertrude Stein: The Language That Rises: 1923-1934", p. 403.
  • In learning a language, when from mere words we reach the laws of words, we have gained a great deal. But if we stop at that point and concern ourselves only with the marvels of the formation of a language, seeking the hidden reason of all its apparent caprices, we do not reach that end, for grammar is not literature...When we come to literature, we find that, though it conforms to the rules of grammar, it is yet a thing of joy; it is freedom itself. The beauty of a poem is bound by strict laws, yet it transcends them. The laws are its wings. They do not keep it weighed down. They carry it to freedom. Its form is in law, but its spirit is in beauty. Law is the first step toward freedom, and beauty is the complete liberation which stands on the pedestal of law. Beauty harmonizes in itself the limit and the beyond – the law and the liberty.
  • Thousands count out loud
    The way thousands count loud they do it without moving their lips
    Made a mountain out of
    Now this is perfectly a description of an emplacement.
    If you think of grammar as a part.
    Can one reduce grammar to one.
    One two three all out but she.
    Now I am playing.
    • Gertrude Stein in: "Gertrude Stein: The Language That Rises: 1923-1934", p. 403.
Her Portrait
Oh, but the heavenly grammar did I hold
Of that high speech which angels' tongues turn gold!
So should her deathless beauty take no wrong,
Praised in her own kindreds’ fit and cognac tongue,
Or if that language yet with us abode Which Adam in the garden talked with God! - Francis Thompson.
  • In general, grammar includes phonology, morphology and syntax. But Classical Tamil tradition seems to differ from this. The earliest grammar Tholkappiyam deals not only with phonology, morphology and syntax but also with personal and impersonal, internal and external dialects of life, beauty of literature, behavioral dialects of human life, Tamil linguistic traditions, etc., and this portion is termed Porulathikaram.
  • The very natural tendency to use terms derived from traditional grammar like verb, noun, adjective, passive voice, in describing languages outside of Indo-European is fraught with grave possibilities of misunderstanding.

Out of scope[edit]

See Wikiquote:What_Wikiquote_is_not#Wikiquote_is_not_an_encyclopedia

  • By the grammar of a language is meant either the relations borne by the words of a sentence and by sentences themselves one to another, or the systematized exposition of these. The exposition may be, and frequently is, incorrect; but it always presupposes the existence of certain customary uses of words when in combination. In what follows, therefore, grammar will be generally employed in its primary sense, as denoting the mode in which words are connected in order to express a complete thought, or, as it is termed in logic, a proposition.
  • What grammar really deals with are all those contrivances whereby the relations of words and sentences are pointed out. Sometimes it is position, sometimes phonetic symbolization, sometimes composition, sometimes flexion, sometimes the use of auxiliaries, which enables the speaker to combine his words in such a way that they shall be intelligible to another. Grammar may accordingly be divided into the three departments of composition or “word-building,”syntax and accidence, by which is meant an exposition of the means adopted by language for expressing the relations of grammar when recourse is not had to composition or simple position.
  • A good practical grammar of a language, therefore, should be based on a correct appreciation of the facts which it expounds, and a correct appreciation of the facts is only possible where they are examined and co-ordinated in accordance with the scientific method. A practical grammar ought, wherever it is possible, to be preceded by a scientific grammar.
  • Grammar constitutes the surest and most important basis for a classification of languages. Words may be borrowed freely by one dialect from another, or, though originally unrelated, may, by the action of phonetic decay, come to assume the same forms, while the limited number of articulate sounds and conceptions out of which language was first developed, and the similarity of the circumstances by which the first speakers were everywhere surrounded, naturally produce a resemblance between the roots of many unconnected tongues. Where, however, the fundamental conceptions of grammar and the machinery by which they are expressed are the same, we may have no hesitation in inferring a common origin.
  • School grammars are the inheritance we have received from Greece and Rome. The necessities of rhetoric obliged the History of formal grammar. Sophists to investigate the structure of the Greek language, and to them was accordingly due the first analysis of Greek grammar.
  • The grammar of a language is not to be confined within the rules laid down by grammarians, much less is it the creation of grammarians, and consequently the usual mode of making the pupil learn by heart certain fixed rules and paradigms not only gives a false idea of what grammar really is, but also throws obstacles in the way of acquiring it. The unit of speech is the sentence; and it is with the sentence therefore, and not with lists of words and forms, that the pupil should begin. When once a sufficient number of sentences has been, so to speak, assimilated, it will be easy to analyse them into their component parts, to show the relations that these bear to one another, and to indicate the nature and varieties of the latter. In this way the learner will be prevented from regarding grammar as a piece of dead mechanism or a Chinese puzzle, of which the parts must be fitted together in accordance with certain artificial rules, and will realize that it is a living organism which has a history and a reason of its own. The method of nature and science alike is analytic; and if we would learn a foreign language properly we must learn it as we did our mother-tongue, by first mastering the expression of a complete thought and then breaking up this expression into its several elements.

Unsuitable for theme article because topic is highly specialized and only incidentally related to theme[edit]

  • Grammars (vyākaraṇas) concern the description of speech forms (śabda) considered to be correct (sādhu) through derivation and thereby serve to make understood the usage found in the Vedas. The grammar that was granted the status of a Vedāṅga is that of Pāṇini. This work is referred to in toto as a śabdānuśāsana (means of instruction of correct speech forms); since the core of Pāṇini’s work comprises the eight chapters of sūtras that serve to describe both the current language of his time and features particular to Vedic, it also bears the name Aṣṭādhyāyī (“Collection of Eight Chapters”).

Need better source[edit]

  • The greater part of the world's troubles are due to questions of grammar.