J.G.’s text reconstruction and an example of ‘anaphora’

Yesterday in class we did a text reconstruction exercise using a paragraph from Greenbaum and Nelson’s An Introduction to English Grammar.

INSTRUCTIONS: Number the sentences in the order that makes sense. Then write the paragraph on the lines below. Important: don’t copy word for word. Try to remember 5 to 10 words (and punctuation marks) at a time.

_____ Every native speaker of English can easily judge that ‘Home computers are now much cheaper’ is a possible English sentence, whereas “Home computers now much are cheaper” is not, because they know that “much” is wrongly positioned in the second example.
_____ Some combinations of words are possible in English, while others are not possible.
_____ The ability to recognise such distinctions is evidence that in some sense native speakers already know the rules of grammar, even if they have never formally studied grammar….”

J.G.’s arrangement:
Every native speaker of English can easily judge that ‘Home computers are now much cheaper’ is a possible English sentence, whereas “Home computers now much are cheaper” is not, because they know that “much” is wrongly positioned in the second example. The ability to recognise such distinctions is evidence that in some sense native speakers already know the rules of grammar, even if they have never formally studied grammar….” Some combinations of words are possible in English, while others are not possible.

The authors’ arrangement:
Some combinations of words are possible in English, while others are not possible. Every native speaker of English can easily judge that ‘Home computers are now much cheaper’ is a possible English sentence, whereas “Home computers now much are cheaper” is not, because they know that “much” is wrongly positioned in the second example. The ability to recognise such distinctions is evidence that in some sense native speakers already know the rules of grammar, even if they have never formally studied grammar….”

I like both!

NOTE: the words “such distinctions” refer to the distinction between “Home computers are now much cheaper” and “Home computers now much are cheaper.”

The phrase “such distinctions” is an example of anaphora. Anaphora refer back to content that has already appeared in previous sentences, not to something new outside the text. To understand what you’re reading, you have to be able to tell the difference.

I’ll post more examples, and we’ll work on this in class.

__1__ Every native speaker of English can easily judge that ‘Home computers are now much cheaper’ is a possible English sentence, whereas “Home computers now much are cheaper” is not, because they know that “much” is wrongly positioned in the second example.
__3__ Some combinations of words are possible in English, while others are not possible.
__2__ The ability to recognise such distinctions is evidence that in some sense native speakers already know the rules of grammar, even if they have never formally studied grammar….”

AND SEE:
William J. Kerrigan on Step 6

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