Generative linguistics


Generative linguistics

Generative linguistics is a school of thought within linguistics that makes use of the concept of a generative grammar. The term "generative grammar" is used in different ways by different people, and the term "generative linguistics" therefore has a range of different, though overlapping, meanings.

Formally, a generative grammar is defined as one that is fully explicit. It is a finite set of rules that can be applied to "generate" all those and only those sentences (often, but not necessarily, infinite in number) that are grammatical in a given language. This is the definition that is offered by Noam Chomsky, who invented the term [cite book|title=Syntactic Structures|page=13|author=Chomsky, Noam|year=1957,2002|publisher=Mouton de Gruyter] , and by most dictionaries of linguistics. It is important to note that "generate" is being used as a technical term with a particular sense. To say that a grammar generates a sentence means that the grammar "assigns a structural description" to the sentence. [cite book|title=Aspects of the Theory of Syntax|author=Chomsky, Noam|year=1965|publisher=MIT Press]

The term generative grammar is also used to label the approach to linguistics taken by Chomsky and his followers. Chomsky's approach is characterised by the use of transformational grammar – a theory that has changed greatly since it was first promulgated by Chomsky in his 1957 book "Syntactic Structures" – and by the assertion of a strong linguistic nativism (and therefore an assertion that some set of fundamental characteristics of all human languages must be the same). The term "generative linguistics" is often applied to the earliest version of Chomsky's transformational grammar, which was associated with a distinction between the "deep structure" and "surface structure" of sentences.

References

ee also

*Transformational grammar
*Noam Chomsky


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Generative Linguistics in the Old World — (known by its acronym GLOW) is an international organization, founded in 1977 and based in the Netherlands. Its goal is to further the study of Generative Grammar by organizing an annual linguistics conference and periodical summer schools, and… …   Wikipedia

  • Generative — may refer to:* Generative actor * Generative art * Generative musicMath and science * Generative Anthropology * Generative model * Generative programming * Generative sciences * Generative systemsLanguage * Generative grammar * Generative… …   Wikipedia

  • Generative sciences — The generative sciences (or generative science) are the interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary sciences that explore the natural world and its complex behaviours as a generative process. Generative science shows how deterministic and finite… …   Wikipedia

  • Generative second language acquisition — The generative approach to second language acquisition (SLA) applies theoretical tools developed within the field of generative linguistics to the study of how second languages are learned by adults and children. Research is conducted in syntax,… …   Wikipedia

  • Linguistics Wars — Linguistic Wars is a colloquial term for a protracted academic dispute in American generative linguistics which took place mostly in the 1960s and 1970s.It was a falling out between Noam Chomsky and some of his early students, who, after studying …   Wikipedia

  • Generative semantics — is (or perhaps was) a research program within linguistics, initiated by the work of various early students of Noam Chomsky: John R. Ross, Paul Postal and later James McCawley. George Lakoff was also instrumental in developing and advocating the… …   Wikipedia

  • Linguistics — is the scientific study of language, encompassing a number of sub fields. An important topical division is between the study of language structure (grammar) and the study of meaning (semantics). Grammar encompasses morphology (the formation and… …   Wikipedia

  • Generative Grammatik — ist der Oberbegriff für Grammatik Modelle, mit deren Regelsystem sich die Sätze einer Sprache – im Gegensatz zu den ausschließlich die Phänomene beschreibenden Sprachlehren – generieren lassen (gebildet aus lat. generare = erzeugen und griech.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Generative Lexicon — (GL) is a theory of linguistic semantics which focuseson the distributed nature of compositionality in natural language. The first major work outlining the framework is James Pustejovsky s Generative Lexicon (1991). Subsequent important… …   Wikipedia

  • generative grammar — noun count or uncount LINGUISTICS a type of grammar based on a set of rules that can be used to produce all the sentences possible in a language …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.