A term used in linguistics, often pejoratively, in relation to grammar (traditional grammar) to refer to the set of attitudes, procedures and prescriptions characteristic of the prelinguistic era of language study, and especially of the European school grammars of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The emphasis on such matters as correctness, linguistic purism, literary excellence, the use of Latin models and the priority of the written language characterizes this approach, and is in contrast with the concern of linguistics for descriptive accuracy (appropriateness, criteria of analysis, comprehensiveness, explicitness, etc.). On the other hand, several basic concepts of contemporary grammatical analysis have their origins in pre-twentieth-century linguistic traditions, such as the notions of hierarchy, universals and word classification. The term ‘traditional’, too, has been applied to the major descriptive accounts of grammar in handbook form produced by several North European grammarians in the early twentieth century (e.g. Otto Jespersen’s Modern English Grammar on Historical principles (1909-40)) and even, these days, to the early period of generative grammar.