Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/113

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Errors in English

Maetzner in his "English Grammar: Methodical, Analytical and Historical," so defines the term:

"Grammar, or the doctrine of language, treats of the laws of speech, and, in the first place, of the Word, as its fundamental constituent, with respect to its matter and its form, in prosody, or the doctrine of sounds, and morphology, or the doctrine of forms, and then of the combination of words in speech, in syntax, or the doctrine of the joining of words and sentences" (vol. i. p. 12).

Syntax, which is a part of grammar, is sometimes confused with grammar itself. It is that part of grammar which treats of the sentence and of its construction, and embraces, among other features, the doctrine of the collocation of words in sentences in connected speech, treating of their arrangement and relative positions, as required by grammatical connection, euphony, and clearness and energy of expression.

The "New English Dictionary," edited at Oxford University by Dr. J. A. H. Murray, treating this subject says:

"The old-fashioned definition of grammar as 'The art of speaking and writing a language correctly' is from the modern point of view in one respect too narrow, because it applied only to a portion of this branch of study; in another respect it is too wide, and was so even from the older point of view, because many questions of 'correctness' in language are recognized as outside the province of grammar: e. g., the use of a word in a wrong sense, or a bad pronunciation or spelling, would not have been called a grammatical mistake. Until a not very distant date, grammar was divided by English writers into Orthography, Etymology, Syntax, and Prosody, to which Orthoepy was added by some others. The division now usual is that into Phonology, treating of the sounds now used in the language, Accidence, of the inflexional forms or equivalent combinations, and Syntax, of the structure of sentences."