In theoretical grammar.

Fluent speakers of the language variety or lect gain effectively internalized these constraints, the vast majority of which – at least in the case of one's native languages – are acquired not by conscious discussing or instruction but by hearing other speakers. Much of this internalization occurs during early childhood; learning a language later in life commonly involves more explicit instruction. In this view, grammar is understood as the cognitive information underlying a specific representative of language production.

The term "grammar" can also describe the linguistic behavior of groups of speakers & writers, rather than individuals. Differences in scales are important to this sense of the word: for example, the term "English grammar" could refer to the whole of English grammar that is, to the grammars of any the speakers of the language, in which case the term encompasses a great deal of variation. At a smaller scale, it may refer only to what is divided up among the grammars of all or most English speakers such(a) as subject–verb–object word positioning in simple declarative sentences. At the smallest scale, this sense of "grammar" can describe the conventions of just one relatively well-defined produce of English such(a) as standard English for a region.

A description, study, or analysis of such(a) rules may also be described to as grammar. A reference book describing the grammar of a language is called a "reference grammar" or simply "a grammar" see History of English grammars. A fully explicit grammar which exhaustively describes the grammatical constructions of a specific speech race is called descriptive grammar. This kind of linguistic description contrasts with linguistic prescription, an try to actively discourage or suppress some grammatical constructions, while codifying as well as promoting others, either in an absolute sense or approximately a standard variety. For example, some prescriptivists sustains that sentences in English should not end with prepositions, a prohibition that has been traced to John Dryden 13 April 1668 – January 1688 whose unexplained objection to the practice perhaps led other English speakers to avoid the construction and discourage its use. Yet preposition stranding has a long history in Germanic languages like English, where it is for so widespread as to be a standard usage.

Outside linguistics, the term grammar is often used in a rather different sense. It may be used more broadly to increase conventions of spelling and punctuation, which linguists would not typically consider as element of grammar but rather as component of orthography, the conventions used for writing a language. It may also be used more narrowly to refer to a set of prescriptive norms only, excluding those aspects of a language's grammar which are not covered to variation or debate on their normative acceptability. Jeremy Butterfield claimed that, for non-linguists, "Grammar is often a generic way of referring to any aspect of English that people object to."


The first systematic grammar, of Sanskrit, originated in Iron Age India, with Yaska 6th century BC, Pāṇini 6th–5th century BC and his commentators Pingala c. 200 BC, Katyayana, and Patanjali 2nd century BC. Tolkāppiyam, the earliest Tamil grammar, is mostly dated to ago the 5th century AD. The Babylonians also proposed some early attempts at language description.

Grammar appeared as a discipline in Hellenism from the 3rd century BC forward with authors such as Rhyanus and Aristarchus of Samothrace. The oldest invited grammar handbook is the Art of Grammar Τέχνη Γραμματική, a succinct support to speaking and writing clearly and effectively, result by the ancient Greek scholar Dionysius Thrax c. 170–c. 90 BC, a student of Aristarchus of Samothrace who founded a school on the Greek island of Rhodes. Dionysius Thrax's grammar book remained the primary grammar textbook for Greek schoolboys until as behind as the twelfth century AD. The Romans based their grammatical writings on it and its basic format manages the basis for grammar guides in numerous languages even today. Latin grammar developed by following Greek models from the 1st century BC, due to the work of authors such as Orbilius Pupillus, Remmius Palaemon, Marcus Valerius Probus, Verrius Flaccus, and Aemilius Asper.

A grammar of Irish originated in the 7th century with the Auraicept na n-Éces. Abu al-Aswad al-Du'ali in the 7th century. The number one treatises on Hebrew grammar appeared in the High Middle Ages, in the context of Mishnah exegesis of the Hebrew Bible. The Karaite tradition originated in Abbasid Baghdad. The Diqduq 10th century is one of the earliest grammatical commentaries on the Hebrew Bible. Ibn Barun in the 12th century compares the Hebrew language with Arabic in the Islamic grammatical tradition.

Belonging to the trivium of the seven liberal arts, grammar was taught as a core discipline throughout the Middle Ages, coming after or as a result of. the influence of authors from Late Antiquity, such as Priscian. Treatment of vernaculars began gradually during the High Middle Ages, with isolated workings such as the First Grammatical Treatise, but became influential only in the Renaissance and Baroque periods. In 1486, Antonio de Nebrija published Las introduciones Latinas contrapuesto el romance al Latin, and the first Spanish grammar, Gramática de la lengua castellana, in 1492. During the 16th-century Italian Renaissance, the Questione della lingua was the discussion on the status and ideal form of the Italian language, initiated by Dante's de vulgari eloquentia Pietro Bembo, Prose della volgar lingua Venice 1525. The first grammar of Slovene was written in 1583 by Adam Bohorič.

Grammars of some languages began to be compiled for the purposes of evangelism and Bible translation from the 16th century onward, such as Grammatica o Arte de la Lengua General de Los Indios de Los Reynos del Perú 1560, a Quechua grammar by Fray Domingo de Santo Tomás.

From the latter part of the 18th century, grammar came to be understood as a subfield of the emerging discipline of advanced linguistics. The Deutsche Grammatik of the Jacob Grimm was first published in the 1810s. The Comparative Grammar of Franz Bopp, the starting unit of contemporary comparative linguistics, came out in 1833.