Grammar And Variation Assignment 2

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Assessment Type


Word Count

800 words




2 Days

Assignment Criteria

  • Cross-linguistic differences in grammar (worth 10%)

By consulting grammar books about a chosen language, briefly sketch some feature of the grammar of that language in 400 words. You should compare and contrast the feature discussed with the grammar of English.

Features you might consider are:

  • Morphological features of the language: inflection (e.g., plural marking of nouns?), derivation (e.g., affixation).
  • Main parts of speech: the principles of their definitions, their features etc. 
  • Grammatical relations: Does the language express subject and object and how are they marked? 

Basic syntax, such as the principles of word order/phrase structure. 

Keep in mind that examples do not count towards the word total (and nor does the reference list – please include details about your sources).

  • Variation in Australian English (worth 10%)

Fill in for yourself and fill in for a friend or family member the activity on the other side of this sheet. Ask the friend or family member to read the words aloud to you (without showing them the words in column A and B).

Consider any differences between your responses and the other person's responses. Can you suggest any way to account for them? For example, do you speak the same variety of English? Is there another independent variable which might account for differences? Do you think the other person accurately reported his/her pronunciation? What about your own? Note any problems you have with the list. What patterns of variation would you expect to find with these variables, given what you know about Australian English (and other varieties of English)? Write up these observations in 400 words. Please include references to support your claims about what patterns might be expected.

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Assignment Solution

The language discussed here is Hindi, which is the national language of India. The grammatical features of Hindi are discussed below:

At the morphological level, Hindi pluralisation occurs largely at the phonological level than in morphological level. Nasalisation, addition of vowels at the end of the word, change of the vowel endings is the most common phenomenon for pluralisation in Hindi. For example, 

  1. Change of the end vowel : 

/kɔmɽɑ/ (room) /kɔmɽe/ (rooms)

/gʰoɽɑ/ (horse) /gʰoɽe/  (horses)

  1. Nasalisation of the last vowel :

/buɖɪɑ/ (old woman) /buɖɪɑ̃/ (old women)

/tʃɪɖɪɑ/ (bird) /tʃɪɖɪɑ̃/ (birds)

  1. Insertion of nasalised vowel at the end of the word:

/gʰɔr/ (house) /gʰɔrõ/ (houses)

/sɑdʰu/ (sage) /sɑdʰuõ/ (sages)

/ɑ̃kʰ/ (eye) /ɑ̃kʰẽ/ (eyes)

/bɔhɔn/ (sister) /bɔhɔnẽ/ (sisters)

/nɪːt̯ɪ/ (principle) /nɪːt̯ɪɑ̃ː/ (principles)

/nɑrɪ/ (woman) /nɑrɪɑ̃ː/ (women) 

On the other hand, English pluralization though is again phonology based is usually carried out adding '-s' or '-es' at the end of the word based on the word ending. If the word ends with /s/, / ʃ/, /ks/ sounds, the '-es' suffix carries out the pluralization. 

For example: 

Box > Boxes 

Boy > Boys

Just like English, Hindi affixes are also divided into two sections: prefixes and suffixes. A very interesting aspect of prefixes in Hindi is that the addition of prefix yields adjectives and negative forms. For example, 

Sambhav (possible) Asambhav (a+ sambhav) impossible

Hindi parts of speech coincide with the English parts of speech. They are: Sangya (noun), Kriya (verb), Sarvanam (pronoun), Vesheshan (adjective), Kriya Vesheshan (adverb), Sambadhanbodhak Shabd (preposition), Yojak (conjunction) and Ghotak (Interjection). 

Hindi does not have the '-do support' which English syntax uses to form interrogative sentences. Instead, the intonation variations mark the interrogative sense in Hindi. 

 Hindi has three tenses (kaal) just like English: Bhoot (Past), Vartaman (Present) and Bhavishya (Future). 

In terms of syntactic structure, Hindi follows the Subject-Object-Verb (SOV) word order whereas English word order is Subject-Verb-Object (SVO).  For example, 

John (S) Mary (o) se pyar karta hain (V) Hindi SOV word order

John (S) loves (V) Mary (O) English SVO word order. 

The preposition in Hindi precedes the noun or pronoun in the sentence, whereas, in English, preposition occurs after the noun or pronoun.

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