By Shona Aikyo
It is not simply right to just say that Language or a certain Language doesn’t have any grammar. In fact, Grammar is a “set of rules governing the composition of clauses, phrases, and words in any given natural language. “This pertains that Language wouldn’t be functional if Grammar does not exist at all. Language is the most important factor in communication thus, without Grammar and its rules, communication would never be effective.
There are also people who argued that some languages have lesser grammar but the fact that grammar itself still exist means that Language is dependent towards it. As a learner of both Japanese and Spanish languages, I found out that Grammar holds the key towards understanding thoroughly a Language. Studying the vocabulary would not suffice at all. Learning English since Kindergarten made me take things for granted as I don’t often think that grammar is the key. All I did was follow the rules of English grammar because it is plainly the right to do.
Learning different Languages as well as diving deep into Language in college, opened my eyes towards the true essence of Grammar. It is fascinating how grammar works differently and somehow similar for different languages. By this I mean to say about the syntactic principles of a particular language. For example,
English sentences normally must have words in the order Subject-Verb Object. In Whales eat plankton, ‘whales’ is the subject, ‘eat’ is the verb, and ‘plankton’ is the object. Japanese sentences allow the words to occur in several possible orders, but the normal arrangement (when no special emphasis is intended) is Subject-Object-Verb. Irish sentences standardly have words in the order Verb-Subject-Object.
Not only does every language have syntax, but similar syntactic principles are found over and over again in languages. Word order is strikingly similar in English, Swahili, and Thai (which are utterly unrelated); sentences in Irish are remarkably parallel to those in Maori, Maasai, and ancient Egyptian (also unrelated); and so on. (Chung & Pullum, n.d.)
Aside from the Syntax in every existing language, we must also consider the presence of morphology, phonetics and so on. As for me, the idea of language having no grammar is completely absurd and would put the entire world into haywire since, communication is the biggest key to understand each other. Without the rules of grammar, we are prone to any types of misunderstandings.
Linguistic society of America. (n.d.). Retrieved March 20, 2021, from https://www.linguisticsociety.org/resource/grammar
MYTH 10: Some languages have no grammar. (n.d.). Retrieved March 20, 2021, from https://prezi.com/xv7ypc5vy6vs/myth-10-some-languages-have-no-grammar/?frame=9d7816f6c20cf71972f10cdd002dc64c87cb77ee
Note: I am an English major student and I decided to post some of the activities during our class as I find it insightful. Online class is always challenging but I’m fascinated with the things I have learned thus, giving me this courage to post my academic works. (>___<;;;)