Spoken Grammar: Meaning, Principles and Characteristics


  • Ru’a Salim Mahmood Ninevah General Directorate of Education
  • Hussein Ali Ahmed Department of English, Nawroz University, Kurdistan Region-Iraq




Spoken Grammar, Written Grammar, Conversational spoken English, Grammatical rules



The terms Spoken Grammar was coined by the two corpus grammarians, Ronald Carter and Mike McCarthy. In the 19th century,  it came under the impact  of a number of local dialects represented by the cockney dialect in London, and the Lothian dialect in Edinburgh. The discussions, debates and studies on Spoken grammar have led to the specification of three main viewpoints concerning the existence of this types of grammar. The viewpoints entail  that (1) grammatical rules do not govern spoken language, which is disorderly and disordered; (2) Speaking English lacks a distinct grammar. It has the same syntax as written English grammar; and (3) spoken language is regulated by a separate grammar with its own set of rules and conventions; i.e. it has its own grammar represented by its own set of rules, regulations, and classifications compared to those of the written language. T validate or refute the implications of the preceding viewpoints, relevant literature concludes that spoken grammar is quite prevalent in everyday conversational spoken English. It is characterized by being more flexible and less strict compared to written grammar. This is so because the informal context of using spoken grammar makes it have a syntax that varies from the traditional written grammar in a number of aspects. This purely theoretical  research aims at shedding light on the definition, meaning, principles and the main characteristics of spoken grammar. The emphasis on the distinctive features of spoken grammar has triggered the researchers to focus on a further point of discussion, namely the differences between spoken and written grammar. To substantiate such differences, examples from closely relevant grammatical literature have also been provided. The research ends with some concluding points drawn upon from the preceding discussed and presented points.


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How to Cite

Salim Mahmood, R., & Ahmed, H. A. (2022). Spoken Grammar: Meaning, Principles and Characteristics . Academic Journal of Nawroz University, 10(4), 160–168. https://doi.org/10.25007/ajnu.v10n4a1187