Kind of a question about the meta-history of linguistics as a discipline. Chomsky released 'Syntactic Structures' in the US in 1957; Tesnière released Éléments de syntaxe structurale posthumously in France in 1959.
Some of Tesnière's ideas have become part of the norm in Bare Phrase Structure, but I've never seen Tesnière cited as the origin of these ideas. Several of the later developments within generative, constituent-based syntax are recapitulations of things that Tesnière was already doing in his work. When I say "Chomsky" below I mean in his original 1957 work, not his later works.
- Projection and bottom-up syntax -- There is no node whose daughters do not contain itself. Chomsky views sentences as headed by a non-projecting S node; Tesnière by a projecting verb. In BPS, all phrases are built by self-replicating MERGE operations, which operate bottom-up, instead of the top-down phrase structure rules used by Chomsky's original work. BPS is 'categoryless syntax', in the sense that by relinquishing top-down PSRs, phrase types are dictated by their constituents instead of their constituents being dictated by their phrase types, like a dependency grammar. Also, The head of the sentence in BPS isn't the verb, but it is a projection of an actual node, not just an abstract non-projecting "S".
- Subject inside verb shells -- Chomsky divides the sentence (S) between subject (NP) and predicate (VP). Tesnière places subjects as subordinate to verbs. The vP hypothesis and subject-internal VP hypothesis in later Chomskyan linguistics generates the subject as specifier to the VP or vP.
- Dependencies -- The relations which Tesnière calls 'dependencies' are maybe recapitulated in Chomskyan linguistics as 'interpretable features'. We might say that X 'depends on' Y for the interpretation of a feature like Case, theta-role, gender, number, and so on.
- Arguments -- Tesnière's concepts of argument and adjunct are captured by different structural positions in X' theory; Tesnière's concept of valency comes up frequently in later Chomskyan works.
- Agnostic directionality of heads -- Tesnière's original representations do not reflect the linear order of words; they tend to be agnostic on linearity, and effectively state that the difference between head-initialism and head-finality is mostly arbitrary. In later Chomskyan works, the linear order of the phrasal head is something decided by the PF, and the LF is largely oblivious to it.
It seems like at least some elements of Chomskyan grammar are, perhaps not taken from Tesnière, they are at least independently arrived upon the original positions of Tesnière. The big differences, structurally, seem to be that the Chomskyan tradition has embraced 'movement' and multiple levels of syntactic representation and the fuller integration of syntax with morphology and semantics (though Chomsky was originally in agreement with Tesnière that syntax was very distinct from both; he originated the doctrine of 'lexicalism' and was infamously dismissive of semantics early on).
Yet, I don't think I have ever read a theory paper from the generative linguistic tradition which has cited Tesnière or credited him for being first to point out certain syntactic facts. Chomsky knows French, so he certainly could have read Tesnière; before becoming a professor, he was a grader and tutor in French and German classes.
Did Chomsky ever cite or acknowledge Tesnière? Were his later ideas influenced by him in any significant way? Or, is this truly a case of 'convergence', where two theorists arrive independently on the same facts? I just find it odd that in all my schooling in the generative tradition, only one professor ever called attention to Tesnière, even though he was the first to posit many of the theoretical positions which now form the core 'orthodoxy' of generative linguistics.