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Questions tagged [generative-grammar]

A theory usually associated with Noam Chomsky that accounts for a language's grammar by a system of rules that are able to generate all the possible grammatical expressions in that language. In its original sense, "generative" does not necessarily mean "production-focussed", although it has often ...

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Minimalism - a question about a property of merge operation

Does anyone know what would it mean that the merge operation is asymmetrical? Would this mean that the order of merged objects is important?
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119 views

Why is *“Where did you move from Paris to?” ungrammatical?

If I'm not mistaken *"Where did you move from Paris to?", while "Where did you move to from Paris?" as well as both "You moved from Paris to London" and "You moved to London from Paris"(at least with ...
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Which is the most accepted case theory from a generative syntax perspective?

I've read about different theories but now I'm kind of confused between the different theories and the differences between structural case, non-structural, lexical/morphological case, inherent case, ...
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62 views

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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46 views

Does a generative grammar of the English language exist?

Is there some database on the internet that contains generative grammar of the English language / or any natural language? I know there are many artificial languages like EBNF those can be formalized ...
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31 views

Specification of Dependency Grammar

My understanding is that, while natural languages aren't completely context-free, you can get a good approximation of a specification of English in Backus-Naur form, in that if you look at a given ...
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63 views

Is either of these meanings of the word “sentence” more conventional?

The Wikipedia article on Generative Grammar states: Generative grammar is a linguistic theory that regards grammar as a system of rules that generates exactly those combinations of words that ...
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68 views

Design Features of Human Language and their role in Chomskyan Linguistics [closed]

Why haven't I come across any references to the DF in literature on GG? Given that the main goal of the approach lies in detecting the properties Language exhibit, what role do such long known traits ...
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31 views

General theory of acceptability criteria for the sentence to be the “valid sentence” and their use for grammar/lexicon induction?

I am reading the article https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs10988-017-9220-0.pdf "The division of labor in explanations of verb phrase ellipsis". Technically it considers the sentences ...
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67 views

X-bar tree of the sentence “Why would she not have actually been giving him back the present yesterday?”

I'm having trouble with a particular x bar tree. We're mostly using Liliane Haegeman & Jacqueline Guéron's "English Grammar – A Generative Perspective" as our bible, with some adjustments, e.g. DP'...
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92 views

Why didn’t generative grammarians value linguistic data from native languages?

As I read through my generative-oriented textbooks I see scant reference to Amerindian languages. Sure, there is some reference to African and Asian languages (especially with tonal stuff), but very ...
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121 views

Are there any empirical arguments for eliminating 'Deep Structure' in Minimalist Syntax?

For reasons of Economy & Parsimony, The Minimalist Program discards Deep Structure (DS) because it’s not a linguistic level. The main reasons for eliminating DS were based on ‘conceptual grounds’ (...
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58 views

Constituent borders

Let us imagine there to exist, for instance, a DP. We always observe the only head D on the left or the right of the phrase (depending upon the direction of branching). But every constituent naturally ...
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100 views

What is the difference between successive-cyclic wh-movement and long-distance wh-movement?

I am concerned with movement spanning the barrier between two clauses, such as: What did John say [CP that Mary will buy __]? or What did John say [CP will Mary buy __]? //with the same meaning as ...
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80 views

Making Sense of Nonsense: [Corner/Quine] Quotes!

Currently working on a problem set where we are using quine quotes (corner quotes) and normal quotes to distinguish use and mention. In class I felt that examples were much simpler, both of these ...
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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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1answer
464 views

Auxiliaries in generative grammar

In a course of introduction to Generative Grammar, my teacher told that auxiliary (Aux in the tree diagram) is the element that comes before the subject (NP) in an interrogative sentence. But I ...
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40 views

Induction of semantics for grammars of natural languages (as opposed to syntax)

I am learning about combinatory categorial grammars and the formal semantics of natural language, course by Partee http://people.umass.edu/partee/MGU_2005/MGU05_formal_semantics.htm (especially ...
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152 views

Unaccusative verbs, EPP and Case Filter

I'm studying Government and Binding Theory and have a question about unaccusative verbs. As I understood, Unaccusative verbs (1) cannot assign Accusative Case and (2) lack external argument, i.e. ...
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2k views

if vs. whether (complementizer)

I'm studying syntax with 'Introduction to government and binding theory' by Haegeman by myself and I encountered something I don't understand. According to PRO theorem, PRO must be ungoverned. 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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256 views

How to diagram a sentence containing a sentence adverb? [closed]

There is a traditional representation of a sentence's parts and it's relation called Kellogs-Reeds diagramming method,which is not used in linguistics. There are also linguistic representations like ...
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145 views

What grammar generate this sequence

I need some little help in connection with linguistics. My first question is: Is there any fast way to figure out grammar if I have sequence of symbols, or do I have to guess? My second question ...
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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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French Auxiliary Selection. Theoretical explanations?

I've heard that Generative Approaches trying to explain Auxiliary Selection are mostly focused in Italian, because its a language which intransitive verbs respond pretty well to unaccusativity ...
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2answers
335 views

What is a “level” of grammar?

Conceptually, I understand the difference between underlying (?phonological), surface (?phonetic) and lexical (?) "levels", but what are these levels? I think they are just a heuristic, a sort of ...
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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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286 views

Types of adjuncts - What can be adjoined to what and why?

In generative grammar, more specifically in GB and Minimalism, what are the possible types of adjuncts we can have and to which other categories can they be adjoined. E.g.: the man [next to him] many ...
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174 views

Course in advanced syntax (generative grammar)

I wonder if there are any good online courses in advanced syntax (within GG framework). By advanced I mean beyond introductory level like Carnie's Syntax or Radford's Minimalist Syntax books. There is ...
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1answer
364 views

The Inflectional Phrase and Welsh

Wikipedia explains how the Inflectional Phrase has a VP as its complement and an NP (the subject of the phrase) as its specifier. It is long ago that I studied this, but a quick look at Sprachliches ...
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4answers
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What does “generative” mean? Can a linguistic theory be non-generative?

If we ignore the political distinction "theories of those who generally agree with Chomsky" vs "theories of those who generally disagree with him" (which is better described by "Chomskian" vs "non-...
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1answer
79 views

Approaching the topic of transformational grammar

What methods & resources are available to support one's process of time-efficiently acquiring a deep understanding of transformational grammar? My technical background is that of a computational ...
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87 views

quantifiers adjoining a verb phrase?

I am working through Heim and Kratzer textbook 'Semantics in generative grammar' and there is a question in it that keeps puzzling me (pp.220); they give an example of a sentence which is supposed ...
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NER model training question

I have a question on NER? Suppose I have set of documents and do manual tagging for all the names in that document. Now based on those tagged words I train my model (using CRF), i.e. add the tagged ...
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What is the difference between Travis' head movement constraint and Rizzi's relativized minimality?

What is the difference between the head movement constraint of Travis (1984), and the relativized minimality of Rizzi (1990)?
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How to Handle Conjunctions in Generative Syntax Tree without Abandoning Nontangling Condition

A few days ago, we had a conference on multidomination and I firstly saw an andP there. The solution was to simply abandon the conditions of well-formed phrase markers below: Single Mother Condition (...
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135 views

How is 'that-trace effect' a Logic puzzle for speakers of languages without it?

Source: p 25, Syntax, A Generative Introduction (3 ed, 2012) by Andrew Carnie The phenomenon in (28) is sometimes called the that-trace effect. There is no disputing the fact that this ...
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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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1answer
333 views

Help with an ambiguous English syntax tree (studying for a final)

Sorry if this is the wrong stackexchange site for this question. I'm studying for a final for my english linguistics class and going through example sentences that we should be able to draw syntax ...
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1answer
38 views

How to represent labialised velars and labials in Element Theory

The contrast between velars and labials in Element Theory is represented either as, respectively, | | vs |U|, or |U| vs |U_| (headed |U|). What if a language contrast plain velars and labials with ...
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4answers
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How can merge produce grammatical strings if mathematical sets do not have an order?

Merge takes two elements and combines them into a set. Say it takes a DP "Luke" and a V "run". We can then define a VP by going merge(DP,V) = {DP,V} "Luke run". But since sets are un-ordered, {DP,V} = ...
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1answer
868 views

Why is merge useful?

I don't quite understand why having an operation that takes two elements and combines them into a set is particularly useful in describing language. Perhaps it helps in describing how it could be that ...
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1answer
582 views

What is the current status of (systemic) functional grammar/linguistics

I'm sorry if my questions may sound rudimentary, so please bear with me. :-) I'm thinking of delving deeper into functional grammar/linguistics (most probably systemic in particular), perhaps with ...
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1k views

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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2answers
206 views

Syntax-semantics interface

In books on generative syntax it is often said that LF itself becomes an input to the so-called syntax-semantics interface to satisfy some conditions (e.g. to get rid of uninterpretable values). But ...
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2answers
221 views

Syntax presupposed by Heim and Kratzer

Heim and Kratzer's "Semantics in Generative Grammar", bases its semantics on some version of transformational syntax. However, it is remarkably inexplicit about formalising the syntax it presupposes ...
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37 views

About ECMs and considering Adjective Phrases as predicates

I'll just jump right to it. I'm given the following sentence - "We remembered the scary dream", with the instructions to draw an X-Bar, and decide whether this is an ECM or a normal control type. ...
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3answers
419 views

How do formal theories analyse the syntax of polysynthetic languages?

How is syntax of polysynthetic languages (e.g. Inuktitut, Mohawk) represented in formal theories of syntax? In many cases, a sentence consists of only one or two words so the syntax tree is rather ...
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246 views

Where did generative semantics go wrong? Why was their conception of language faulty?

Where did generative semantics go wrong? Why was their conception of language faulty? What were the main weaknesses of generative semantics adherents' claim that "a grammar starts with a description ...
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2answers
5k views

What's the difference between structural and generative linguistics?

It seems to me that generative linguistics presupposes the structuralist tradition. Are there any major differences between these two methods?