Grammar and lexicon in traditional grammar
The work of Matthias Kramer and Johann Joachim Becher
In Methodvs didactica (1668) and other works Johann Joachim Becher (1635–1682) developed a theory of grammar which was based on the study of lexical, syntactic and semantic relations of words within the lexicon of a language. Matthias Kramer (1640–C.1730), in his many bilingual dictionaries, applied Becher’s grammatical theory to develop a general theory of linguistic analysis, studying the morphological relationships between roots, derivatives and/or compounds, synonymy between words, and the relationships of words in sentences and idioms in various languages. The paper demonstrates that Kramer’s approach effectively marks a breakaway from traditional grammar as still found in the works of Justus Georg Schottel (1612–1676), Kaspar Stieler (1632–1707), and others, because it applies an explicit grammatical model and because it does away with the traditional separation between lexicon and grammar. Kramer also breaks with the traditional association between form and meaning, which not only affects his concept of grammatical explanation, but also his way of establishing a comparison between languages. Kramer’s linguistic approach, it is suggested, presents certain similarities with modern studies of lexical grammar, since both try to study linguistic phenomena in the lexicon and both eliminate the arbitary separation between lexicon and grammar.
Published online: 01 January 1994
Cited by 3 other publications
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Becher, Johann Joachim
Brekle, Herbert E.
Harris, Zellig S.
Harsdörffer, Georg Philipp von
Jellinek, Max H.
Koerner, E. F. Konrad
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Leclère, Christian & Carlos Subirats-Rüggeberg
Mauro, Tullio De
Percival, W. Keith
Schottel, Justus Georg
Vooys, C. G. N. de