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what are the points that otto jesperson highlight in his systematic grammar? please attach one article.

The parts of Otto Jespersen's grammar with which I am most familiar have to do with word study--namely, orthography and morphology. I am less familiar with his work on syntax, which, I suspect, is the area with which you are most concerned. But in the preface to the first volume of his great A Modern English Grammar on Historical Principles, he says the following:

"It has been my endeavour in this work to represent English Grammar not as a set of stiff dogmatic precepts, according to which some things are correct and others absolutely wrong, but as something living and developing under continual fluctuations and undulations, something that is founded on the past and prepares the way for the future, something that is not always consistent or perfect, but progressing and perfectible--in one word, human." (1:v)

He insists that a grammatical description should be systematic, the second and third chapters of his The Philosophy of Grammar being titled "Systematic Grammar." He also argues that the primary object of study should be the spoken not the written language (even though most of his examples are from writing, not speech). In these two respects he agrees with other early structuralists. But he insists also that you cannot describe the forms of a language without starting from content, or meaning, which means that he insists always on the human element at work in the evolution of language. And his evolutionary perspective means that historical, or diachronic, information is as important as synchronic, an attitude that is somewhat different from that of other structuralists.

In fact, in his The Philosophy of Grammar, the final section, titled "The Soul of Grammar," includes the following:

"My endeavour has been, without neglecting investigation into the details of the languages known to me, to give due prominence to the great principles underlying the grammars of all language, and thus to make my contriubtion to a grammatical science based at the same time on sound psychology, on sane logic, and on solid facts of linguistic history(my emphasis)." (344)

I guess what emerges here is his insistence on being systematic, logical, and tidy in one's thinking while including the more messy human, meaning-making function of language and its changing, evolving history.

For a handy and more detailed overview of his life and work, do a Google search on "Otto Jespersen" "Niels Haislund".

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