7. How much attention is given to syntax and how is this defined (contrast
the ‘classical’ system based on concord with ‘modern’ methods based on
sentence analysis); how much room is given to etymological and syntactic parsing?
8. Is there a section on ‘prosody’? Does a section on ‘style’ (composition,
proper elocution) exist? How is this justified as a part of grammar?
9. What is the relevance of arguments taken from the history of English? Is
a separate section on history included, or do diachronic treatments pervade the classification and line of argument throughout? How far are
data from ‘philology’ and comparative linguistics employed to explain
(and justify) English structures?
10. How far can we distinguish between a ‘British’ and an ‘American’
tradition? The question becomes relevant (and even virulent) in the 19th
century. Whereas the first American grammar of English was published
11. How far are contents, structures and modes of presentation determined
by the uses the grammar book is intended to serve? In particular, what
types of schools are mentioned, or what advice given for self-study? Are
there references to Sunday schools, Mechanics’ Institutes, lending libraries, and various types of private and state schools? How are the contents
geared to the official requirements of school inspectors’ reports and of
examination boards, or the successive ‘codes’ laid down after 1870?
12. Are there differences between town and country, north and south?
13. How far is the special situation of learners in Scotland and Ireland taken
into account? Is there any special regard paid to non-native speakers –
also in America, or in books primarily meant for (or published in)
countries of the Empire?
14. What is the relationship of numbers of copies printed and editions (if
determinable), size and price; in particular, how does the reduction of
the size of a book affect its contents?
15. How prescriptive is the grammar writer’s attitude? (And, by contrast, is
any account taken of usage, not only lip-service paid to the concept?)
Are rules formulated without exceptions? Are these rules to be memo-
10 19th-century Grammars of English
rized? (And, by contrast, how much emphasis is laid on inductive
methods and the pupil’s logical reasoning and judgement?) Is the structure of the argument underlined by typographical devices, with important
rules printed in bold? Is the catechism method of question and answer
used? What is the relation between teacher’s guidance and self-study?
How much use is made of ‘native’ terminology or Latin categories
implicitly or explicitly?
16. Are there sections on erroneous spelling and false syntax, to be corrected
by the pupils? Do these errors include ‘vulgar’ and obsolete features?
17. Are there exercises, integrated in the book or collected in a separate
volume, and are there keys, for the teacher?
18. How much use is made of literary texts (or the Bible) to illustrate good
usage and correct grammar? Are these texts and the rules based on them