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ERIC Number: EJ1018823
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0826-435X
Determiners, Feline Marsupials, and the Category-Function Distinction: A Critique of ELT Grammars
Reynolds, Brett
TESL Canada Journal, v30 n2 p1-17 Spr 2013
The concept of determiners is widely employed in linguistics, but mostly absent from English Language Teaching (ELT) materials (dictionaries, teacher-reference books, and student-oriented texts). Among those employing the concept, there is near-universal confusion between determiners and pronouns, arising mainly from an analytical and terminological failure to distinguish consistently between the category ("determinative") and the function ("specifier"). I criticize this situation and present linguistic evidence for a more consistent framework. I conclude by arguing that in language teaching and applied linguistics we rarely adopt advances from linguistics, not because they fail to meet some criterion of relevance a la Widdowson (2000), but simply because we are ignorant of linguistics in general.
TESL Canada Federation. 408-4370 Dominion Street, Burnaby, BC V5G 4L7, Canada. Tel: 604-298-0312; Fax: 604-298-0372; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A