The Underlying Grammar in a Language Course (with a special reference to Russian)

  • Patricia Ann Heron

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The thesis describes and justifies a set of ideal syntactic wordclasses
designed to facilitate the analysis of sentences of modern
standard scientific and technical Russian by the setting up of
chains of syntactic predictions designed to be derivable through a
defined search procedure in a specially-prepared dictionary, which
also contains appropriate instructions for translation into English
of chains of a given structure (sentences of Russian).

A set of such syntactic word-classes has been used as the basis of
a textbook of scientific and technical Russian (a so-called
‘Integrated Dictionary'), which is described in the thesis. Its
proposed syntactic word-classes are critically compared with the
ideal set, and amendments to the textbook proposed.

A number of traditional textbooks of scientific and technical Russian
are also examined, with a view to deriving from them a set of wordclasses
analogous to our proposed ideal set.

On the basis of a comparison of the ideal set of syntactic wordclasses
with those derived from the textbooks, it is concluded that
a) the traditional textbooks do not,strictly speaking, constitute
grammars of Russian, a deficiency which can be related to their
underlying grammatical theory, and b) the present ‘Integrated
Dictionary' amounts to an attempt to express in morpho-syntactic
terms the information given in traditional courses, and fails to
provide all the information necessary to achieve its declared aim
of analysis through strings of syntactic predictions.
Date of Award1979
Original languageEnglish


  • language course
  • Russian syntax
  • integrated dictionary systems

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