001 Question

001 Question: Why don't Standard Grammars deal with Anomalous Finites? I haven't found a detailed explanation anywhere. The maximum is the listing of the 24 Special Verbs.

001 Answer: Frankly, I don't know. There might be many different reasons and one of these must be the Teacher and the Teacher Training behind them.

As for the Native Speaker of English Teachers, before the Teacher Training Course, quite a few of them simply don't know the Grammar of English well enough at the Conscious Level and the 60 to 100 hours of the Course is too short to fill the gap.

Because of this, these teachers can give very good examples re how to use the language but they can quite rarely answer questions re why we use the language in the way that is suggested in the Coursebook.

As for the Non-Native Speaker of English Teachers, they are typically trained in 6 to 10-semester college- or university courses where they will learn everything about everything about phonemes and graphemes and tagmemes and syntagmata. What they don't happen to learn is some tricks by which they could use any part of their linguistic knowledge in a beginner class of kiddies.

One knows too little; the other knows too much.

For both, a practical and practisable knowledge of the 24 Anomalous Finites might be a way out.


003 Question: Why do you call the 24 Anomalous Finites 'Jumpwords'?

003 Answer: It is a representational description of what is happening when we turn a positive sentence into a question.

Its main aim is to help students create a mental image and ultimately an AHA moment that indicates the joy of thought.

It is especially important if / when we teach children, the LD Student and, most importantly the Concrete Thinker Student.  

004 Question: Why do you call the 24 Anomalous Finites 'Friends of Not'? 

004 Answer: please see the Answer to 003 Question above.

005 Question: Is there a theoretical background for the 24 Anomalous Finites?

005 Answer: Most definitely, yes, there is. To be able to understand this, we have to go back to the 1930s and 1940s. It was the small beginning of a new kind of English Grammar that was trying to break out from the Latin Straightjacket.

Two English linguists, phoneticians and lexicographers Harold E Palmer [1877-1949] and A S Hornby [1898-1978] were pioneering the creation of different Students Dictionaries and for that end they had to look at the English Grammar differently from the traditional scientific - analytical approach.

Palmer realized that there are 24 Special Verbs in English with unique features and named them Anomalous Finites. Anomalous means irregular but that word was already used for verbs with irregular past tenses and past participles.

Hornby studied these verbs in more details and built them into his Advanced Learners Dictionary of Current English.

Since EFL and ESL were in embryonic stage of development at that time, this realization did not go down to the level of teachers and ultimately to the level of students. It was soon losing momentum and got clean forgotten.

One straightjacket, the Latin was gone, but the other, the Straightjacket of Science on Teaching as an Art is still with us.



002 Question

002 Question: Who are the Concrete Thinker Student and the LD Student?

002 Answer: The Concrete Thinker Student, in an extreme case, can not think 'outside the box'. For them the world, and in our case the language is limited to what is in front of their eyes, and the here and now.

If we extend our message into the abstract, i. e. either in time or in space outside the box and the here and now, it will be mostly beyond these students' scope and learning will be greatly inhibited.

In its extreme form, this type of student is quite rare but milder cases are there in every classroom and they are not alone. Other LD Students, like the Geek Syndrome Students, the Pragmatic-Semantic Syndrome Students, the Asperger Syndrome Students, mild cases of Outism, and the Language Mathematician Students may show very similar symptoms and give very similar reactions. All these students may add up to 25 to 30 per cent of our student population.

Since the typical EFL, ESL and ESOL classes contain a great deal of abstract ideas, abstract time and abstract space, the Concrete Thinker Student will have very few chances there. The Prescriptive Grammar exercises will be very difficult to follow and mostly intellectual noise, and the abstract vocabulary will be almost impossible to memorize.

However, if we use a great deal of Pedagogical Grammar, Total Physical Response, demonstration, animation and color-codes, most of these students stand very good chances in learning the language.

006 Question: Why do you think that Science is a straightjacket on Teaching?

006 Answer: Because Prescriptive Grammar and Descriptive Grammar is taught in schools everywhere and very few teachers care to teach the language in a meaningful way.

It doesn't matter really whether they can't, or they don't dare to, or else they are not allowed to teach it in an understandable, enjoyable way

007 Question: What is or who is an LD Child?

007 Answer: LD is an abbreviation with at least three different meanings. If you follow, or are stuck at Freud, you will read it as Learning Disabled [child or Student]; if you happen to follow Skinner, you will read it as Learning Difficulty; if you follow Rogers, you will read it as Learning Difference.

008 Question: I read it in the opening QUIZ that 'every English Sentence must contain one of these 24 Verbs, either openly or hidden'. Does every English sentence contain an Anomalous Finite?

008 Answer: Yes, they definitely do. Without an AF, every sentence would be static or paralytic.

009 Question: Why do you call the Subject of the Sentence an 'Obstacle'?

009 Answer: Because it is not necessarily the Subject that the Jumpword has to jump over. It can be a Dummy Subject, or anything else that stays in the place of the Subject without being the real Subject of the Sentence.

010 Question: Besides 'Obstacle', you also use the term 'Landing Place'. Is it another Representational Thought?

010 Answer: Yes. It is a necessary term because the Jumpword does not necessarily land at the beginning of the sentence. If there is a Wh Question Word, the AF lands between the Obstacle and the Question Word.

011 Question: What is a Copula?

011 Answer: Generally speaking, it is a link between two things. In this material, Copula is a linking verb that connects the Subject with the Predicate or the Subject with the Subject Complement.

We can best imagine the Copula as a linguistic equation sign. For example, we can read 'John is a man' as 'John = a man'.

When we ask a question in English, the most important problem is whether the Verb can leave its place to jump into a question position or not. In other words, it is very important to realize what the two elements are that touch each other when the Verb jumps.

The five AFs in the BE Family are the most frequently used Copulae and they can jump into question position without any limitation.