I need a list of resources to Chomsky's theory of universal grammar and generative grammar that help me from zero to recent-research level [I myself do formal mathematical logic and am not totally zero :-) so don't worry if the resources are solid and tought]

Up to date resources that also include criticisms and debates are highly preferred; and don't forget i have not much background in linguistics specially Chomsky; so i want a 'from Introductory to advanced' list.

  • 2
    There is no one "Chomsky's theory". There are a number of successive ones, rather like successive versions of "Freud's theory"; each theory threw off its own bunch of adherents and heretics, until there is today such a multidimensional spectrum of "Chomskyan/Generative Grammars" that one needs very sensitive chromatography to distinguish them. If you can provide some context on the (mathematical?) purpose you need them for, we might be more helpful -- among us, we represent most of the dots in the chromatograph.
    – jlawler
    Jun 21, 2014 at 20:21
  • I recommend the Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, ed. Keith Brown.
    – prash
    Jun 21, 2014 at 20:32
  • List questions are usually off topic anyway.
    – curiousdannii
    Jun 24, 2014 at 3:04

2 Answers 2


Given your background in mathematical logic, I'd say that there isn't any better place to learn about Chomsky's contributions than by reading Chomsky himself. If you want to chart the development of Chomsky's own thinking at the macro level, I'd recommend reading the following works in the order given:


The Language Instinct by Steven Pinker is a good entry point for the subject of psycholinguistics and universal grammar. Much of it is an explanation and updating of Chomsky's work. It is written at a level that can be comprehended by non-specialists. I would read it first as an introduction to the subject before moving on to more rigorous or mathematical works.


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