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Questions tagged [chomsky]

An American linguist who founded the field of Generative Linguistics.

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How do generativists account for apparent diachronic processes that cause errors in linguistic performance to become cemented as competence?

Many diachronic processes of language change appear to derive from synchronic errors in linguistic performance. How do generativists account for this if performance and competence are separate? If ...
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1answer
81 views

English Stress and Rule Based Accounts SPE Chomsky/Halle

Is the following morpho-syntactic representation of the below phrase using brackets correct? Long Bike Ride And subsequently, would the below cyclically applied rules showing the resulting stress ...
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3answers
274 views

Is generative grammar a theory or an approach?

I am trying to understand the first sentence of Wikipedia's page on generative grammar: Generative grammar is a linguistic theory that regards grammar as a system of rules that generates exactly ...
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139 views

'there' vs 'it' expletive insertion

These are my conditions for detecting an expletive position: if spec IP has been assigned non 'null' Case and is not theta marked. However, after this I struggle to choose between 'it' and 'there'. ...
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2answers
222 views

Why does 'seem' behave differently?

Mary seems[ t to be here] Mary tried [PRO to be here] Why can't Mary be generated in spec VP of 'seems' but can in 'tried'? Instead it looks like it works more like a passive verb: Mary is believed ...
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3answers
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How do we explain the fact that agreement comes from the object with 'there'?

For example: There is a man. There are men. How do we explain that agreement of the verb comes from the object in this case alone? What movement happens in the verb complex of the xbar tree of the ...
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1answer
172 views

Case assignment with prepositions

Consider these examples: 'I am happy with my parents' my parents gets assigned Case by 'with'. *'I am proud with my parents' My question is as follows: What is the reasoning for 2 being ...
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1answer
107 views

Why do 'wonder' and 'think' act differently in wh-movement?

For instance: Object moving: Who do you think that John saw t? (correct) *Who do you wonder that John saw t? (incorrect) Subject moving: Who do you think t saw John? (correct) *Who do you wonder t ...
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1answer
241 views

How do you coreference a possesive pronouns with an x-bar tree?

Following Chomsky's linguistic theory (The Minimalist Program), r-expressions must be free, where free means that nothing should c-command it such that the indices have a non null intersection (if I ...
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1answer
92 views

How do you assign Case to sentences with an infinitval clause?

Look at this example: For the butler to attack the robber would be surprising. Here, the butler and the robber are assigned accusative Case. Is 'For' assigning case to the butler and 'to attack' ...
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2answers
422 views

What is the x-bar tree of 'I am proud of my students'? (having trouble with proud)

I am having trouble attaching the 'proud' to the 'am'. 'Am' is a verb and 'proud' is an adjective for the noun 'I', so should come as an adjunct for 'I', but here it would have to somehow come from ...
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1answer
102 views

Why is it that the wh-word as a subject in the spec position cannot raise over an auxiliary verb like 'did'?

When the question word is the subject of the clause, there is no aux verb, eg 'Who saw you?'. I understand this, but why is 'who did see you?' also correct, with respect to Chomsky's linguistic theory ...
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1answer
170 views

Transitive nouns (and adjectives) evidences from early Indo-Aryan languages

I search info and explanations about "transitive nouns", I didn't read Chomsky yet. I know he talks about "transitive nouns". Transitivity is typically thought of as a property of verbs, and ...
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2answers
82 views

semantics of bizarre usages in view of a second-language-speaker

Generative tradition, as far as I (an amateur) understand, revolves around the 'poverty of the stimulus' argument. So I can understand why I clearly get the meaning 'she shelved her books' or at ...
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0answers
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Did Chomsky made the first generalization of coordination?

If not then who? And maybe someone can suggest a good book of history of English linguistics? Can't find myself. Thanks!
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1answer
66 views

Basic background reading request

I've stumbled onto "The Science of Language: Interviews with James McGilvray" and it's great but I'm almost entirely ignorant about the field of linguistics. I've never come across any of the jargon ...
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287 views

Intuitive English example of why linguists think natural language grammar is stronger than CFL?

I have a decent understanding of regular languages, CFLs and r.e. sets from a course in computer science theory. I'm just learning about the Chomsky hierarchy. As an English speaker, I have a ...
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Where can I find the mentioned More than one Method article?

Chomsky mentions an article that I have never taken a look at in his talk at the University of Arizona "What is Special About Language?". I've seen "Without Social Context?" but I've never seen the ...
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1answer
199 views

Chomsky's Syntactic Structures: Why is {a^n b^n : n ∈ ℕ} not a finite state language?

In (10) (i) of Chomsky's Syntactic Strucures (1957), the set of sentences of a specific language is defined as ab, aabb, aaabbb, ..., and in general, all sentences consisting of n occurrences of ...
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1answer
454 views

Introduction in generative grammar

My name is Antonio, and I'm an undergraduate student at one of the many colleges that are focusing on language. I'm mainly studying the English language, and this is my first year of studying concepts ...
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1answer
133 views

Principles and Parameters: projectionist?

The question/problem I have is related to the way recent generative approaches focus on the Lexicon and Syntax. I would like to know if Principles and Parameters can be considered a projectionist ...
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1answer
1k views

Difference between Type 0 and Type 1 in the Chomsky hierarchy

i am the beginner in linguistics and i have little problem with understanding Chomsky hierarchy. So i have grammar like this: P = {K -> KL,aK->abK,...} In my opinion, it is not third or second ...
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What is the essence of the dispute between Wolfe and Chomsky?

I read the report in Sunday's Observer concerning the dispute between Tom Wolfe (author Kingdom of Speech) and Noam Chomsky (professor emeritus Massachusetts Institute of Technology) over their ...
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1answer
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How was De Saussure's Langue and Parole different from Chomsky's Competence and Performance?

Ferdinan De Sassure has proposed Langue and Parole long before Chomsky proposed his Competence and Performance system of linguistic knowledge? I know that they are different but how?
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Did Chomsky adress Multiword Expressions?

I am not aware of a discussion/definition of multi word expressions by Chomsky? As there exist plethora of "synonyms" (to keep it easy lets state they are synonyms) including compounds, frozen ...
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Can 'a system of rules that assigns […] meaning in a definite way' be replaced with 'semantics'?

Source: An Introduction to Language (10 ed, 2014) by V Fromkin, R Rodman, N Hyams. I, and not the book, bolded. [p 7:] A person who knows a language has mastered [1.] a system of rules ...
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Does lack of a common (morpho-)phonological alternation make a word a lexical exception?

I am trying to understand the following passages from The Sound Pattern of English, by Noam Chomsky and Morris Halle. Convention 1: : Every segment of a lexical matrix is automatically marked [+n] ...
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327 views

Understanding Symbols in Chomsky's *Logical Structure of Linguistic Theory*

I've been reading Chomsky's The Logical Structure of Linguistic Theory, and have come up rather suddenly against a stumbling block. On page 133, he uses without explanation some notation that's ...
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214 views

Did Chomsky originate the term “rewrite rule”?

The earliest mention of the term "rewrite rule" that I am able to find - in the context of phrase structure grammars - is in Chomsky's "Syntactic Structures" (1957). Did he originate the term?
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2answers
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Sapir-Whorf vs. Chomsky

Can somebody let me know if this is a reasonable explanation for how the two theories are similar and different? This is not for homework, I'm just try to understand the difference, and my textbook ...
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1answer
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What is the best introduction to Chomskyan linguistics?

Although my main interest is historical lingustics, I would also like to get a hint of the modern studies of syntax and generative grammar, and as far as I know, Chomsky is currently the most ...
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1answer
407 views

Opinions on Principles and Parameters Theory [closed]

I'm curious about your opinions on Principles and Parameters Theory. Do you consider it possible or rather you think that it is impossible that our grammar was structured that way. I appreciate any ...
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Where did the discussion of the language faculty between Fitch, Hauser, Chomsky and Pinker and Jackendoff terminate?

Many of you may be familiar with the debate between FHC and PJ on the language faculty. The "discussion", which became quite heated, first appeared as PJ's response to an article in Science that was ...
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8k views

Functionalism vs Formalism?

I'm trying to really understand the difference between linguistic functionalism and formalism, but I can't find any good concrete examples of either. From what I can tell, functionalism is a sort of ...
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Resources to Chomsky's Universal Grammar

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 ...
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226 views

Is a sentence's deep structure representative of i-language?

That is to say, is the deep structure supposed to be what's happening in our head when we speak a language? Or is this just to make our model of a grammar consistent?
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401 views

Syntactic representation of Across-the-board Extraction

I am reading a book on Government and Binding theory [1] and just finished a chapter on big pro (PRO). At the end of the chapter there is an exercise. Different sentences are written with faulty ...
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Questions on Chomsky's “Syntactic structures” #1

This would be my first series of questions on this book (Second ed). Chomsky warns that several answers to the question "On what basis do we actually go about separating grammatical and ungrammatical ...
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1answer
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Problem understanding binding theory and c-command

I am reading about binding theory and I have a little problem. The book (1) says that: A binds B iff: (i) A c-commands B; (ii) A and B are co-indexed. and c-commanding is defined as the following: ...
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What are the main issues concerning the abstractness of the theory set out in The Sound Pattern of English?

The vowel analysis in Chomsky and Halle's (1968) SPE is said to be overly abstract. What are the main issues phonologists have with this abstractness?
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Why does there seem to be so much disagreement among linguists?

To put it another way, how much is there that all linguists would be willing defend as correct knowledge about linguistics? I have just finished taking an introductory course in linguistics. One ...
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What are the arguments against Chomsky's Universal Grammar?

What are the most convincing and most popular arguments against the Innateness Hypothesis of Universal Grammar or Universal Grammar as described by Chomsky?
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8answers
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What are some alternatives to Chomskian generative grammar?

What are the other common approaches to study syntax? Note: the source is an example question from the on-topic question list in Area51.
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6answers
768 views

What is a comprehensive recent discussion of the status of Chomsky's universal grammar theory?

In particular, I am interested in the suggested common features of creole languages more or less grammaticalized by children.