Grammar Ebook

The Farlex Grammar Book

The grammar book for the 21st century has arrived, from the language experts at Farlex International and, the trusted reference destination with 1 billion annual visits. The Farlex Grammar Book is a comprehensive guide consisting of three volumes: Volume I-English Grammar, Volume II-English Punctuation, Volume III-English Spelling, and Pronunciation.Inside, you'll find clear, easy-to-understand explanations of everything you need to master proper grammar, including complete English grammar rules, examples, and exceptionsplus a grammar quiz at the end of every topic to test what you've learned.Farlex brings you the most comprehensive grammar guide yet: all the rules of English grammar, explained in simple, easy-to-understand terms. Over 500 pages of proper grammar instruction2x more than the leading grammar book! Whether you're an expert or a beginner, there's always something new to learn when it comes to the always-evolving English language. Only Complete English Grammar Rules gives you common grammar mistakes, thousands of real-world examples. With Complete English Grammar Rules, you'll be able to: Quickly master basic English grammar and tackle more advanced topics, Properly use every type of noun, verb, and even the most obscure grammar elements, Master verb tenses, including irregular verbs and exceptions, Avoid embarrassing grammar errors. Read more here...

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Protein Modularity and the Syntactic Units of a Protein Linguistic Grammar

For protein linguistic considerations SYNTAX shall be seen as the branch of linguistics that defines how words (syntactic units) are combined to make phrases and sentences. The PHRASE is a vehicle for defining syntactic units that appear next to each other or stay together in the arrangement of a sentence, and that form a syntactic unit of equal or higher complexity 29 . Definition of the syntax is a necessary prerequisite for any further efforts, as one must have detailed knowledge of the syntactic units to which the new (protein linguistic) grammar can be applied. Three potential ways can be used to define protein linguistic syntax (i) that of the individual amino acid (ii) that of the primary structural elements (e.g. beta strands, loops, or alpha helices) and (iii) that of larger (30-100 residues in length) autonomously folding and stable modular structures that have persisted throughout evolution 1,36,77 . Clearly, the first scenario has little to offer, and computational...

Section Arts and literature

The earliest examples of Indian literature are the Vedas. The oldest of these is the Rigveda, a collection of hymns composed between 1500 and 1200 bc, although not reduced to writing until much later. The Upanishads (composed about 900-500 bc) are prose commentaries on the Vedas. Other ancient prose works include the Brahmanas and the Aranyakas. All of those works are in Sanskrit. The definitive work on Sanskrit grammar was written by Panini, about 400 BC.

Discovery of a Gene for Language

Vargha-Khadem of the Institute of Child Health in London.55 Some of the first linguists to study the affected family members believed their problem was specific to grammar but Vargha-Khadem has shown that it is considerably wider. Affected members have trouble in articulation, and the muscles of their lower face, particularly the upper lip, are relatively immobile. It could be argued that their defect stemmed from some general malfunction in the brain, which was not specific to language. But

Figure The Distribution Of Eurasiatic

Greenberg's book on the grammar of his proposed Eurasiatic family was published in 2000 the second volume, on shared vocabulary, appeared posthumously in 2002. His grouping was developed independently of Nostratic, the superfamily advocated by a Russian school of linguists, but overlaps with it to a great extent. Nostratic differs from Euroasiatic in that it includes Afroasiatic, at least in early versions, and some Nostraticists exclude Japanese and Ainu. An important difference of methodology is that Nostraticists insist proto-languages be reconstructed as the basis for comparison, a procedure that Greenberg skips. To English speakers, it may not be instantly obvious that their language has anything whatsoever in common with Finnish, Turkish, or Inuit, let alone Japanese, as the Eurasiatic hypothesis asserts. Given the speed of language change, and the 10,000 years or more that separate all these daughter tongues from the assumed proto-Eurasiatic, only a few echoes would be...

Nature is Structured in a Languagelike Fashion

As with (mostly natural) languages the interpretation of the code sign is context-dependent not at the grammatical level (in the Chomsky sense), but at the environmental level - this predetermines the 'semantic semiotic expectation' in which the sign is received. And a context-dependent grammar can accommodate time-resolved plasticity. The current revival of more holistic views, reinvented and praised as Systems Biology, raises the awareness that there is no context independence in biological processes just as much as there is no meaning in DNA sequence if it is not transcribed into something else, or engages in physical contact with other molecules. According to the definitions by Don Favareau that 'dynamics equals constant action' (the definition of the 'interpretant' in classical semiotics) dynamics as such then represents the latest point in the cascade of biosemiotic sign actions 24 . In the example of the cytoskeleton, the act of polymerization is viewed as an act of...

Between the Universal People and the Real People

The Universal People is a concept of the anthropologist Donald Brown, who devised it as a counterpart to Chomsky's Universal Grammar. Though most anthropologists emphasize the particularity of the societies they study, Brown is interested in the many aspects of human behavior that are found in societies around the world. These universal human behaviors range from cooking, dance and divination to fear of snakes. Many, such as the facial expressions used to express emotion, seem likely to have a strong genetic basis. Others, like language, may result from the interaction of genetically shaped behaviors with universal features of the environment. Whatever the genesis of these universal behaviors, the fact that they are found in societies throughout the world suggests strongly that they would have been possessed by the ancestral human population before its dispersal. These ubiquitously shared behaviors define the nature of what Brown calls the Universal People. Among the Universal People,...

Genetic Background of Language

The FOXP2 protein is an old transcription factor present in vertebrates, and there is evidence that it has been under positive selection in the human lineage. It seems to affect development of distributed neural networks across the cortex, striatum, thalamus, and cerebellum. The DVD condition makes the phenomenon different from SLI, but it is important that speech and language deficits are always present, even in otherwise normal children. In other affected individual general intelligence is also impaired. It is also important that the grammar deficits (difficulty with morphological features such as the suffix -s for plural or -(e)d for past tense) occur in written language as well. The selective sweep that affected this gene in the human lineage occurred within the last 200,000 years (Enard et al., 2002 Zhang et al., 2002). We think a key issue is the biologically motivated dissection of the language faculty. Put differently, what are the intermediate phenotypes composing language...

Modular Code Encapsulated in the Cytoskeleton

As discussed above, one cannot limit such considerations to the eukaryotic or multicellular (tissue organism) world - the conventions must function also at the level of the single cell, with or without a nucleus. The physically and chemically determined parameters of polymerization of actin filaments are the building instructions, or grammar, which are present in each single G-actin subunit, thus functioning as an intrinsic molecular memory for the code maker. The process of polymerization clearly separates itself from the copy-making level as it regulates the complex dynamic structural rearrangement of itself (the G-actin) for the construction of something different than itself (the F-actin filament). Cytoskeleton dynamics reveal an astonishing diversity of the code-making principles. For one the act of polymerization consumes energy from nucleotide triphosphates. Secondly, mutational information is stored in the structure. Thirdly, the system is adaptive, it is self replicating,...

From Wordings to Dynamic Language

The temporal dimension of language is often neglected. First, Markova, Foppa, Linell and others pioneered emphasis on real-time dialogue (see, Markova and Foppa, 1990, 1991). Linking conversational analysis to phenomenology, they abandoned the monological approach to language. By focusing on the effects of dialogical patterns, they rejected centralised systems. Avoiding input output models, Linell et al. (1988) showed that utterances are prospective and retrospective. Even turn taking may owe less to sequencing than cognitive dynamics, politeness, and a language stance. Second, we exploit asymmetries of status, power, knowledge, etc (Linell and Luckmann, 1991). In social life, strategic interaction is dominated - not by wordings - but presentations of self. Third, as Linell (2007) shows, dialogical principles also apply to the brain. Related views are increasingly corroborated. For example, in influential work, Pickering and Garrod (2004) show that semantic priming matters to...

Gifted Young Tuscan

His father's work and his own environment inclined Galileo more towards art than to science. But in the wake of the Renaissance, the line between these two areas was not very clearly defined. Vincenzio's musical theory made use of mathematics and physics - indeed, music as a taught subject was reckoned as one of the quadrivium subjects, together with arithmetic, geometry and astronomy. (The linguistic disciplines - trivium - were grammar, rhetoric

Gene Expression and Linguistic Behaviour

Hypotheses about the origin of the genetic code before coming to the conclusion that the co-evolution hypothesis about this origin, with its reference to the biosyn-thetic relationship between amino acids and corroboration by analysis of metabolic pathways, is most nearly correct. Gene assembly in ciliates has spawned a massive amount of work (e.g. Daley et al., 2003) the existence of two different nuclei, micronucleus and macronucleus, in a single cell, and the transformation of the latter into the former has provided much grist to the mill of formalists anxious to apply the artillery of formal language theory to genetics. Yet this will not provide a context (general calculus) relating nucleotide to phenotype any more than generative grammar facilitated the advent of computers that could translate between arbitrary texts of arbitrary languages at will.

The Language Gene That Wasnt

Some years earlier, Noam Chomsky had shaken the world of linguistics by pointing out something that Darwin had previously drawn attention to that children pick up languages astonishingly easily, yet, of course, they do not automatically seem to know how to bake cakes. Chomsky had proposed that children learn language too fast to be absorbing the rules of grammar via exposure to speech in everyday life. Their brains must be pre-disposed to it. There must be a construct, he said, called Universal Grammar already programmed into young brains. Chomsky fell short of any accurate biological description of his language organ and never mentioned genes. However, Steven Pinker, formerly a colleague of Gopnik's at McGill, but then at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was expanding Chomsky's theory into a truly biological dimension. He suggested that language was constructed in the brain by a number of computational modules, each responsible for a particular component, like the animals...

Barenosed wombat burrows

Womabt Burrows Section

One of the earliest and most interesting studies of wombats and their burrows was made in 1960 by a schoolboy, Peter Nicholson, who was then a student at Timbertop, the country branch of Geelong Grammar School. This school is situated in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range in north-eastern Victoria, and it was in these forested hills, between 500 metres and 1300 metres above sea-level, that Nicholson made his subterranean explorations of bare-nosed wombat burrows. Armed with a torch, a mattock and spade, and half a kerosene tin for his booty, he crawled along the narrow tunnels, sieving the floor dirt to remove any bones he found there. He eventually amassed enough to assemble a complete wombat skeleton.

Johann Kepler Imperial Mathematician

Johann Kepler had been born in the small town of Weil on the Rhine, where the river forms the border between modern Germany and Switzerland. He became a teacher at a Protestant grammar school at Graz in Steiermark, in the south of what is now Austria, and where in 1596, at the age of twenty-five, he published a great work The Cosmographical Mystery, a sober description of the Copernican system, mixed with large doses of religiously influenced numerology

Giving birth to convergence

In some ways the similarities of these various processes are all the more surprising, given both the various differences in avian and mammalian brain structure, e.g. the absence of a multi-layered cortex in the avian brain, and in some species of bird strong sexual dimorphism of song production. Yet the similarities, striking or otherwise, still emerge. Even so, Doupe and Kuhl are careful to qualify these remarks, noting that although the parallels are striking there are also a number of obvious differences, most notably the human possession of a grammar (but see Chapter 9). Yet what they rightly call the 'numerous parallels'179 between my remarking to my companion on the beauty of a bird's song and the song itself, suggest that not only warm-bloodedness and viviparity but also at least some mechanisms of both vocalization and song may be widespread across the Galaxy (see note 132, Chapter 9). So, too, given the recurrent emphasis on evolutionary convergence, it is not surprising to...

The New Frontier of Biology

Codes and conventions are the basis of all cultural phenomena and from time immemorial have divided the world of culture from the world of nature. The rules of grammar, the laws of government, the precepts of religion, the value of money, the cooking recipes, the fairy tales, and the rules of chess are all human conventions that are profoundly different from the laws of physics and chemistry, and this has led to the conclusion that there is an unbridgeable gap between nature and culture. Nature is governed by objective immutable laws, whereas culture is produced by the mutable conventions of the human mind.

Chapter Only A Theory

Imagine that you are a teacher of Roman history and the Latin language, anxious to impart your enthusiasm for the ancient world - for the elegiacs of Ovid and the odes of Horace, the sinewy economy of Latin grammar as exhibited in the oratory of Cicero, the strategic niceties of the Punic Wars, the generalship of Julius Caesar and the voluptuous excesses of the later emperors. That's a big undertaking and it takes time, concentration, dedication. Yet you find your precious time continually preyed upon, and your class's attention distracted, by a baying pack of ignoramuses (as a Latin scholar you would know better than to say 'ignorami') who, with strong political and especially financial support, scurry about tirelessly attempting to persuade your unfortunate pupils that the Romans never existed. There never was a Roman Empire. The entire world came into existence only just beyond living memory. Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese, Catalan, Occitan, Romansh all these languages and...

Language Behaviour versus Morse Code

3 Generativists used physical symbol systems to model (inner) grammars. With the demise of computational models of mind, constructions are increasingly traced to cultural evolution (e.g. Deacon, 1997 Tomasello, 1999). When identified with wordings, language is taken to link physical invariants to meanings. For some, the miracle depends on minds (e.g. Steinberg et al., 2001, p. 1). Allegedly, (inner) intentional states solve the symbol grounding problem by picking out real-world invariants. We rely on central processing to solve the linking problem (Tomasello, 2005). While usually attributed to a grammar, cognition, or intention-reading, this assumes a centralised process.5 Language is input output driven by a system that composes decomposes structures. The brain is ascribed such a role in (most) functionalist and formalist theories of language. A neural system is taken to construct formal arrangements akin to those found in analysing dialogue into chains of utterances based on verbal...

Universals of Perception Cognition and Emotion

A major contribution to these problems has already been made in the field of evolutionary linguistics. In a continuous attempt to motivate the emergence of 'linguistic universals', there has been a first reduction to three major categories phonological, syntactic, and semantic universals. The major efforts of the endeavour, however, have focused traditionally on 'phonetic' and 'syntactic' rules and principles. Most languages, in fact, have vocabularies of words whose articulatory and acoustic definition is mediated by a phonological system (Liberman, 1975, for a critical discussion see Port and Leary, 2005). The majority of the contributions, however, have dealt with syntax rather than with phonetics. The Chomskian tradition in linguistics is illustrative of this approach it tries to find the set of abstract grammatical principles that underlie all human languages, a kind of 'universal grammar' that relies on the assumption of universals as innate features of a 'language faculty'....

Pidgins Creoles and Sign Languages

One of the Chomskyans' problems with evolution of language, that language is too complex to have halfway steps, has been addressed by Derek Bickerton. Bickerton became interested in the subject through his study of a fascinating language phenomenon, the development of creoles from pidgins. Pidgins are languages of limited vocabulary and minimal grammar, usually invented by two populations who have no language in common. The children of pidgin-speakers do something very interesting they spontaneously develop the pidgin into a fully fledged language with proper grammatical rules. These developed pidgin languages are called creoles. It seemed to Bickerton, as he studied Hawaiian creoles, that their development offered an insight into the evolution of human language. The first language was pidgin-like, he suggested, consisting mostly of vocabulary, and syntax was grafted on later. Several possible remnants of this proto-language still survive. If children are not exposed to language in...

The Comparative Method versus Mass Comparison

Despite Cavalli-Sforza's support for Greenberg's findings, linguists continued to assail Greenberg's work on grounds of factual errors and methodology. As even Greenberg's supporters concede, he was interested in the big picture, not the details. Numerous small errors, of the type scholars usually do their best to avoid, crept into his work. Some were errors of transcription, some perhaps the result of working in haste as he reviewed the grammar and vocabulary of hundreds of languages, transcribing everything with his own hand and usually without a graduate student to check things. Were the errors fatal, as his Americanist critics


Language is such an integral part of being human that it is not even learned. Instead, language develops naturally like an organ or what Steven Pinker calls the language instinct. By the age of five years, humans know all the rules of language. Noam Chomsky named our automatic propensity for learning and mastering the complex and sometimes illogical rules of grammar, our language acquisition device, and his theory was strengthened by his discovery of a universal grammar which is the common basis for all human languages. The genetics of speech and language are beginning to unfold. Mutations in the gene FOXP2 cause a person to struggle with motor control of the mouth and facial muscles so that word pronunciation is difficult. Persons with mutations at the gene also have deficiencies in certain aspects of grammar and cognition. Once FOXP2 was identified, scientists searched for its function in normal humans and other animals. FOXP2 is a regulatory gene, shared in similar forms by all...


Finally, I want to extend special thanks to my editor at Oxford University Press, Latha Menon. Having commissioned the book in the first place, she guided me through the development of my argument and the detailed editing that, hopefully, has brought it to a readable conclusion, with warm and energetic encouragement and the underlying steel of a gimlet eye for grammar and clarity.

Copying and Coding

Another difference between the two mechanisms is that copying operates on individual molecules, whereas coding involves a collective set of rules. The difference between natural selection and natural conventions, in other words, is the difference that exists between individual change and collective change. An example of this difference can be seen in any language, whose evolution is due to variations that take place not only at the level of the individual words but also at the collective level of the rules of grammar.

The Funeral

Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov Remains

One of the last sites to record the three cosmonauts alive was the amateur satellite tracking station at Kettering Grammar School in England. Its leader, Geoffrey Perry, said that they received signals from Soyuz 11 as it was passing 200 km above the island of Madeira in the Atlantic, off the northwest coast of Africa. ''At that time we were certain that all three men were still living. After you have been listening to three men's heartbeats for 24 days, it is difficult to put into words your feelings on discovering that they are dead. We are all very upset.''

The Neocortex

Entirely incompetent in written language, or vice versa. They may be able to write but unable to read able to read numbers but not letters able to name objects but not colors. There is in the neocortex a striking separation of function, which is contrary to such common-sense notions as that reading and writing, or recognizing words and numbers, are very similar activities. There are also as yet unconfirmed reports of brain damage that results only in the inability to understand the passive voice or prepositional phrases or possessive constructions. (Perhaps the locale of the subjunctive mood will one day be found. Will Latins turn out to be extravagantly endowed and English-speaking peoples significantly short-changed in this minor piece of brain anatomy ) Various abstractions, including the parts of speech in grammar, seem, astonishingly, to be wired into specific regions of the brain.

Protein Linguistics

Of the functions that are attributed to similar sequences 27,72,74 or three-dimensional folds 21,41 . Currently, the ambiguity of annotations in databases is hindering progress in this direction. Protein linguistics deals with the potential categorization of the biological world to provide a robust framework for future test systems of protein functionality 13,57,60,68 . The aims range from (i) the definition of rules for protein assembly from modular protein domains, and (ii) help to formulate parameters for the prediction of protein function, to (iii) exploring the possible routes towards a deeper understanding of pragmatics (meaning) of molecular interactions beyond their apparent biochemical and physiological consequences. In light of a biosemiotic approach, one also have to consider that the biosemiotic process starts with evolution 6,44 . As a consequence, protein (and nucleic acid) linguistics can provide relevant insights for a definition of underlying rules and constraints...

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