Community size matters when people create a new language

Why are languages so different from each other? After comparing more than 2000 languages, scientists noticed that languages with more speakers are usually simpler than smaller languages. For instance, most English nouns can ...

Early literacy may compromise grammatical learning

Learning how to read may have some disadvantages for learning grammar. Children who cannot read yet often treat multiword phrases as wholes ("how-are-you"). After learning to read, children notice individual words more, as ...

Grammar teaching leaves children confused, research shows

Children can be left confused and unable to write accurate sentences because of "uncertain" grammar teaching, experts have warned. But confident teachers can enable students to use their grammar knowledge to help them craft ...

Evolutionary biology can help us understand how language works

As a linguist I dread the question, "what do you do?", because when I answer "I'm a linguist" the inevitable follow-up question is: "How many languages do you speak?" That, of course, is not the point. While learning languages ...

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Grammar

In linguistics, grammar is the set of structural rules that govern the composition of clauses, phrases, and words in any given natural language. The term refers also to the study of such rules, and this field includes morphology, syntax, and phonology, often complemented by phonetics, semantics, and pragmatics. Linguists do not normally use the term to refer to orthographical rules, although usage books and style guides that call themselves grammars may also refer to spelling and punctuation.

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