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Why do you study/believe the theory of grammar that you do?
« on: February 26, 2020, 07:52:50 pm »
I originally posted this in the weekly Q&A, but one of your fine mods recommended that I give it its own post:

At the end of the day, how did you decide which theory of syntax/grammar to believe/study? Is it simply a matter of which evidence you find most compelling? Does it have to do with how elegant you find the theory? Is it sometimes just inertia: that is, it was the first theory you studied, or you had a compelling professor, or something like that?

And a follow-up question: what do you feel is the most compelling evidence for the theory to which you subscribe? What was the thing that made you think, yes, this makes sense, this is the one. Please include examples--I would love to see the theory in action!


  • oglop
  • The Legend

    • 3822

    • August 25, 2011, 07:24:54 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Why do you study/believe the theory of grammar that you do?
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2020, 09:11:34 am »
what do you mean?


  • VanIslander
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 1826

    • June 02, 2011, 10:12:19 am
    • Seogwipo, Jeju Island
    more
Re: Why do you study/believe the theory of grammar that you do?
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2020, 02:53:02 am »
Theory of what?

Seems like a nonsense question, what Wittgenstein deemed 'language on a holiday'.

But it reminds me of a couple of debates in the philosophy of language: is there a universal grammar hardwired in our brains? Or do we develop structure out of chaos in adaptable pattern-testing exercises? Noam Chomsky vs. the aforementioned.

I don't study theory these days, haven't since grad school in 1997, but I believe Piaget's stages of development theory has some weight.

That said, teaching is an art, not a science, of that I am convinced. Learning theories can help develop useful principles and practices, but teaching can be skillfully performed by inductively learning from reflecting on one's own past teachers and/or adapting to the needs of the students one has. Teaching is like dancing in this regard. Learn the cha-cha, two-step, fox trot and ballroom all you want, but faced with a floor of heavy metal or electronic dance music, what do you do?
« Last Edit: February 28, 2020, 02:54:40 am by VanIslander »


Re: Why do you study/believe the theory of grammar that you do?
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2020, 01:55:32 pm »
what do you mean?
He/She means nothing. The account and post are fake. Notice the links in the profile. This is one of several posts recently that are definitely not legit.


  • kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 6028

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: Why do you study/believe the theory of grammar that you do?
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2020, 02:40:01 pm »
Suddenly I feel less happy about being called a fine moderator.  :sad: