This assignment is designed to help the class come to a better understanding of how the eighteenth-century grammarians regarded correctness. The eighteenth-century grammarians are widely credited with initiating the prescriptive tradition that is still prevalent today, yet their grammars do not reveal a monolithic prescriptive stance. Grammarians varied in the degree of their interest in correctness and in the rigidity of their opinions. By looking at an eighteenth-century grammar in depth, you should better understand how the grammarians treated grammar.
You should choose an eighteenth-century grammar and report on it. You may choose any grammar published in the eighteenth century, besides those written by Lowth and Priestley.
Most can be found on the ECCO (Eighteenth Century Collections Online). Click on the title to get to the electronic version.
Fell, John. 1784. An Essay Towards an English Grammar. London. (Print Call Number PE 1109 .F37 1784a)
Fenning, Daniel. 1771. A New Grammar of the English Language. London.(Print Call Number PE 1109 .F39 1771a)
Chapman, Don. "The Eighteenth Century Grammarians as Language Experts" in Topics in English Linguistics : Grammars, Grammarians and Grammar-Writing in Eighteenth-Century England. Tieken-Boon van Ostade, Ingrid, (Berlin, 2008). Also in print at PE 1108 .G73 2008 (level 5).
Dons,Ute. Descriptive Adequacy of Early Modern English Grammars. (Berlin ; New York : Mouton de Gruyter, c2004). Call# PE 821 .D66 2004 (level 5).
Michael, Ian. The Teaching of English : from the Sixteenth Century to 1870. (Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1987). Call# PE 65 .M5 1987 (level 5).