Grammar - статья на английском языке

...Since most people are not accustomed to thinking about grammar as a science, it is of great importance that we understand from the beginning what the principles and methods of scientific grammar are. <...> Four main principles, then, will guide us in our study of grammar. They are these.
1. The subject matter of grammar includes, first, the mechanisms and devices by which words are combined into larger units of discourse; and second, the total linguistic structure of such units.
2. Grammar studies primarily the spoken language, listening to sounds in the air rather than examining shapes upon paper. Practically, of course, grammarians work mostly with written records, since it is the nature of our minds to be more efficient when dealing with the visible than with the audible, and since some way is needed of fixing the fleeting sounds of speech so that they may be studied. <...>
3. The grammarian, like the linguist in other fields... begins his study by collecting adequate samples of actual speech. These he submits to objective examination and analysis, leading to generalizations concerning the devices and patterns of their structure. When he is content that his generalizations are valid, he states them in the form of rules, lists, charts, diagrams, or other convenient ways of representing the patterns of structure he has discovered. A more or less complete collection of generalizations covering the structural patterns of a given language or dialect can properly be called a grammar of that language or dialect.
4. It is to be noted that the method described above implies that the structural grammarian regularly begins with an objective description of the forms of language and moves from form toward meaning. Here his approach is directly opposite to that of traditional pre-scientific grammarian, who often used meaning as a basis for his classifications and formulas. The structural grammarian is concerned with meaning, of course. But his concern is with how the forms of language are used to express meaning. Meaning is, as it were, the end-product; therefore, it cannot also be part of the process. <...>
(From "The Structure of American English" by W. Nelson Francis)