School Grammars with Everyday Vocabulary: Suggestion for a Culture Specific Approach, with Sidaamu Afoo as an Example


  • Kjell Magne Yri ILOS, University of Oslo



This contribution deals with the problematic area of specialised nomenclature in school material for languages that are comparatively new as languages of instruction. It concerns grammar, although in principle the same problems arise for those who write school materials for mathematics, chemistry, physics or any other subject taught in school. The nature of this contribution, however, is not the description of a research project in the normal sense, so it is not built up around a well formulated research question. Nonetheless, a working hypothesis can be seen to underlie the discussion. It is a reasonable assumption that if a grammatical terminology is created hastily and with quick ad hoc solutions based on English or a dominant language, it may impede transparency and learning in both the short and longer term. Consequently the hypothesis is that one finds the best solutions by starting from the local culture and everyday words, discussing and evaluating their merits as grammatical terms, and only resorting to loans or foreign influence if that approach fails. The suggestions that form this hypothesis are found in (1).

Author Biography

Kjell Magne Yri, ILOS, University of Oslo

Researcher, Russian linguistics