n Acta Academica - Introduction : chapter 1

Supplement 3
  • ISSN : 0587-2405


If one were to provide a native speaker of a particular language with a list of possible sentences containing a negative, this native speaker would be able to tell which, according to his/her tacit knowledge of the language, are grammatically well-formed and which are not. This native speaker, if he/she were English speaking, would be able to tell that a sentence like "Mary reads the book not" is not an acceptable sentence in English. A native speaker of English knows how a simple English sentence is negated. It could therefore be contended that a native speaker of any language has a tacit knowledge of the words and the rules which govern the pronunciation, word formation and sentence formation of that language. Knowledge of these rules can be characterised in terms of the notion "grammar" (Radford 1997:3). To hold that the native speaker has knowledge of his/her native language, is to conjecture that such a speaker has knowledge of the grammar of his/her language. A German speaker knows German grammar. An English speaker knows English grammar. Under normal circumstances where speech is not impaired, a native speaker of a language will know how to form and interpret words, phrases and sentences.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error