#4906. なぜ文法を学ぶのか? --- David Crystal が挙げる6つの理由[grammar]


 Crystal (203) が「なぜ文法を学ぶのか?」について,主に英語母語話者向けにではあるが,6つの回答を与えている.


・ 'Because it's there'. People are constantly curious about the world in which they live, and wish to understand it and (as with mountains) master it. Grammar is no different from any other domain of knowledge in this respect.
・ But more than mountains, language is involved with almost everything we do as human beings. We cannot live without language. To understand the linguistic dimension of our existence would be no mean achievement. And grammar is the fundamental organizing principle of language.
・ Our grammatical ability is extraordinary. It is probably the most creative ability we have. There is no limit to what we can say or write, yet all of this potential is controlled by a finite number of rules. How is this done?
・ Nonetheless, our language can let us down. We encounter ambiguity, imprecision, and unintelligible speech or writing. To deal with these problems, we need to put grammar under the microscope, and work out what went wrong. This is especially critical when children are learning to emulate the standards used by educated adult members of their community.
・ Learning about English grammar provides a basis for learning other language. Much of the apparatus we need to study English turns out to be of general usefulness. Other languages have clauses, tenses, and adjectives too. And the differences they display will be all the clearer if we have first grasped what is unique to our mother tongue.
・ After studying grammar, we should be more alert to the strength, flexibility, and variety of our language, and thus be in a better position to use it and to evaluate others' use of it. Whether our own usage in fact improves, as a result, is less predictable. Our awareness must improve, but turning that awareness into better practice --- by speaking and writing more effectively --- requires an additional set of skills. Even after a course on car mechanics, we can still drive carelessly.


 ・ Crystal, D. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. 3rd ed. CUP, 2018.

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