This 54th collection of students’ pearls of wisdom, laboriously digitised from hand-
Competence only applies to innate speakers of a language.
In linguistics, the ability to speak a language is defined by ‘competence’ and by ‘performance’ the ability to speak it, regardless of how we do it (Chomsky).
The mistakes of a bad speaker (performance) do not affect competence (grammar treatises), although grammar books sometimes have mistakes.
In order to understand a sentence, we need to ignore all the mistakes that the speaker makes. We do this mentally and this is called performance.
Performance makes judgements of value about the acceptability of a sentence. Competence allows us to create and judge (grammatically) but this is only acceptable (performance) in special cases which are not very interesting to the language.
For a language to exist (competence), it is not necessary that all its performances are the same, but they cannot be completely different otherwise we could not communicate (except through translation).
Any individual has language ability or competence, but cannot speak or write a language without studying it first.
Performance means the characteristic of any speaker of making language mistakes.
More to come...