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 been understood as such. Generativists study mostly syntax, but also other aspects of linguistic structure such as morphology, phonology and semantics.

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What theory of syntax and grammar do language typologists tend to prefer?

The first concerns the theory of syntax and grammar that typologists prefer: What theory of syntax and grammar do language typologists tend to prefer? Do they prefer a transformational phrase ...
Rongrong's user avatar
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Why do we listen and speak in the same language?

I'm asking this question from the perspective of cognitive science and the biolinguistic framework. Production of utterances translates a representation from the CI system into a string of lexical ...
trips's user avatar
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How do different grammar theory (e.g. PSG, FG) explain word order in different language? [closed]

In typology, how do different types of grammar theories (such as phrase structure grammar, functional grammar, etc.) explain different linear word order in different languages? I know that dependency ...
Rongrong's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
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Why is binarity emphasized so much in linguistics?

I'm an aspiring linguistics student, not a professional, so my thinking may be misguided or elementary. In my personal research about linguistics, I have discovered many important theories and ...
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Do indirect objects induce CED effects?

I'd like to ask those of you who speak English as a first language whether indirect objects induce CED effects (cf. Huang). Consider: Of which boy did John send [a letter] [to every friend _]? Of ...
Tzetachi's user avatar
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What is "Argument Visibility" and “INFL“ in Case Theory?

I didn't know much about case theory. Can anyone help me explain the meaning of "argument visibility" in a way that is easy to understand? What's more, does the "INFL" mean "...
Rongrong's user avatar
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How do you write split infinitives in x-bar theory syntax trees?

I want to start by saying that I am pretty new to syntax (and linguistics in general for that matter) but I've been trying to wrap my head around x-bar theory and generative grammar in the last weeks. ...
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What is [+Ref] in generative grammar?

I'm a beginner in English syntax. Some of the terminology used in papers by generative grammarians is very hard to follow. This is one case. As can be seen from the picture, the author says that "...
Rongrong's user avatar
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How beneficial is generative syntax for a non-native looking forward to mastering English?

I really have no idea what to write in the title. But in short, English is my second language and I would say I am good enough to handle myself in a conversation or write an essay. I have BA in ...
AN24's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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What is HMC in generative grammar?

I'm currently reading a Ph.D. thesis concerning the structure of English adjectives. These generative trees are used to illustrate the structure of the phrase "someone tall". The author ...
Rongrong's user avatar
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What are the contemporary schools of linguistics? [closed]

What are the contemporary schools of linguistics? Which of them are more influential and which are more promising? Which schools do the following books on English grammars belong to: Huddleston & ...
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Book suggestions for a basic introduction to Syntactic Cartography?

I am interested in learning more about Syntactic Cartography and its basic concepts. Can anyone recommend a book or resource that provides a solid introduction to this topic? I have a background in ...
Drye's user avatar
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1 answer
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A parser for grammars with movement

I'm trying to figure out how the parser algorithm of Harkema 2000 works. It is a bottom-up parser that uses an agenda-driven, chart-based deduction procedure, but what is not clear to me is in what ...
invalid syntax's user avatar
4 votes
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Acceptability and grammaticality

My understanding of acceptability and grammaticality is this: As someone who is able to communicate in a given language I find given sentences that I hear or read more or less acceptable (in terms of ...
Hans-Peter Stricker's user avatar
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What does it mean to say that a component of grammar is "interpretive"?

I have a good grasp on the idea of a generative component---clearly syntax is generative in this sense. But what is an "interpretative component" supposed to mean? Like, when a line is drawn ...
Deep_Television's user avatar
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Linguistics and ChatGPT [closed]

To which (neuro-, psycho- or general) linguistic models and theories of human language recognition and production does ChatGPT (GANs) come closest? Or why isn't this a valid question?
Hans-Peter Stricker's user avatar
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How to show the difference between the opaque reading and the transparent reading via syntax?

Is there any way using any version of Generative Grammar (EST, REST, GB, MP) to show the difference between "the transparent reading" and "the opaque reading" of the same line ...
Vadim's user avatar
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How can I understand "remnant movement" in English heavy-NP shift construction

Kayne 2003 mentions that there exists remnant movement in English. As background, note: I predicted that John would marry Susan, and marry Susan/her/*Ann he will. The argument(s) in the preposed VP ...
Yili Xia's user avatar
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Why does Chomsky consider recursion in language to be a "narrow" ability unique to humans?

There is a well-known classification of four varieties of grammars, differing in complexity, from unlimited to regular. These grammars correspond to four classes of automata in computer science: ...
Wasabi Kurosawa's user avatar
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1 answer
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Can one practice generative linguistics without the UG baggage?

I'm very skeptical about Chomsky's UG axioms. Of course he revised his concept continually, or so it seems. In the end, I don't see any evidence yet for a 'language gene' as Pinker ridiculously ...
hal3m's user avatar
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Human natural language metalanguage

I was thinking about how a controlled grammar of English can be used as a programming language because it’s fully parsible. The idea of doing this for other languages, such as Sanskrit, brought me to ...
Julius H.'s user avatar
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Inherently reflexive verbs

What is the status of herself in the following sentence? Mary behaved herself during the class. Is herself an internal argument? I'm a bit confused.
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How can the following phrase ambiguously have two trees: "expensive shoes from Italy"?

This is an exercise from "Introducing syntax" by Olaf Koeneman & Hedde Zeijlstra, 2017. The chapter this exercise is taken from deals with "Merge".
Dida's user avatar
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Is Panini's grammar regular in the same sense as that present in the Chomsky hierarchy?

Panini's grammar is said to have algebraic rules governing every aspect of the Sanskrit language. If the rules are completely formal, what is the place of this grammar in the Chomsky hierarchy? How ...
Gratiela Monica Marcus's user avatar
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1 answer
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Handling enumerations in Generative syntax trees

How can we build syntax trees for sentences with enumerations? I have three sentences as examples: S1: John, Mary, Paul, Alice and Bob eat a cake. S2: I'm eating an apple, a pear, a cherry, a ...
Lucian Radu Teodorescu's user avatar
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Is Generative / X-bar Theory prescriptivist? (can the descriptivist linguist create X-bar syntax trees?)

I'm drawing some x-bar syntax trees. These seem highly prescriptivist in that it says that you can only do x,y & z. For example the sentence "Because I'm lazy means I'm more efficient" ...
atreeon's user avatar
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Is there any connection between formalism and generativism [closed]

Is generativism originated from formalism? How formalism is related to linguistics
Sanika Vinod's user avatar
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1 answer
140 views

Do all frameworks of syntax view the string following an inverted auxiliary verb in English as the complement of the auxiliary?

This is a follow-up question of an earlier question titled: In X bar theory, is the first auxiliary the head of an interrogative clause and the remainder the complement? In that question, I had this ...
JK2's user avatar
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In generative grammar, is the first auxiliary always the head of an interrogative clause?

In generative grammar, be it transformational or not, is the first auxiliary always the head of an interrogative clause? For example, in (1), is the first auxiliary will always the head of (1)? (1) ...
JK2's user avatar
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Is there a linguistic term for “grammatically well-formed word salad”?

The accepted answer to this question quoted Chomsky's (1955) famous “sentence” Colorless green ideas sleep furiously and an earlier example from Tesnière (1940s), which translates to English as The ...
John Bentin's user avatar
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Are there generative theories of grammar with privative features outside of phonology?

By "generative grammar", I take the widest interpretation and do not mean "Chomsky's theory of syntax today", thus HPSG and LFG would be instances of GG(broad). Phonology has a ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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To what extent was Chomsky influenced by Tesnière?

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 ...
Khove's user avatar
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3 answers
251 views

What is a verb constellation?

I am reading a paper "Aspectual Categories in Navajo" and the author refers to something called a "verb constellation:" Verb constellations are associated with the situation types ...
A. R.'s user avatar
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1 answer
452 views

Principles and Parameters vs. Government and Binding

I'm a little confused about the difference between P&P and GB. This Wikipedia article suggests that they are the same as grammar frameworks, from what I understood: Principles and parameters as a ...
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1 answer
111 views

Resultative secondary predicate

In the sentence 'John entered the room angry', can 'angry' be considered a resultative predicate? This sentence has the same construction as 'John painted the door green', but while 'green' describes ...
Jay's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
230 views

What limitations of generative grammar was Lakoff referring to?

In his keynote address in 2015, George Lakoff said the following (at 22:10) The whole idea of generative grammar fell apart. There were things that you could not do with it. Even if it was ...
MWB's user avatar
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8 votes
4 answers
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Why is the subject outside the VP in most theories of syntax?

I'm trying to understand why in most theories of syntax, the subject of a sentence is the sister of the verb, and not the child eg: S -> NP VP instead of VP -> NP V (NP...) The latter feels more ...
nathan's user avatar
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2 answers
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Is it a defining feature of generative grammar that the object is in the VP?

According to Wikipedia, generative grammar is distinguished by its putting the object of a sentence inside a VP. How reasonable is this assumption?
Jeffrey's user avatar
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Can Studying Generative Grammar Help Someone Understand the Word Order of a Language?

Let's say for example that someone wanted to learn French. Would studying French's generative grammar help this person learn French word order? Also, have there been any studies that teach L2 ...
breeda1's user avatar
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VSO languages and generative grammar

I'm wondering how generative grammar handles VSO languages It seems to me that the subject splits up the verb phrase, and so you're going to have to have some sort of movement going on and a different ...
Tristan's user avatar
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4 votes
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Is "of the kitten" in "the paw of the kitten" a complement to the NP or an adjunct to the DP?

I'm drawing a tree for "the paw of the kitten" (from chapter 7 of Andrew Carnie's Syntax: A Generative Introduction). This chapter is "extending X-bar theory", so please keep that ...
Keelan's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
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Formal, mathematically-minded introduction to generative grammar?

I'm looking for a formal, mathematically-minded introduction to contemporary generative grammar theory, where all the concepts, such as dominance, c-command, government, etc. are defined formally in ...
Evan Aad's user avatar
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According to the Elsewhere Principle, can a syntactic rule block a morphological one, or a morphological rule a phonological one?

I read up on the Elsewhere Principle. In the linked article two examples are given: The syntactic comparative "more + adjective" can be overruled by the morphological comparative "adjective+er" for (...
Keelan's user avatar
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1 answer
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How can we explain "head feature" of a phrase? [closed]

For example, how can we explain the head feature of an adjective phrase?
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4 votes
2 answers
313 views

Derivation of Passive according to Principles and Parameters (Jaeggli)

I've been trying to wrap my head around this for hours, but I am simply stuck. Could somebody please kindly explain this passage? I am struggling in particular with the part in bold. The text is from ...
SpaceAndTime's user avatar
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0 answers
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Binding Puzzle in English Generative Syntax!

Consider the following sentences: (1) Anna believes [ IP herself to be a hero] ] (2) Anna wants [ IP him to leave] ] (3) *Anna wants [ IP herself to leave ] ] (1) is an example of Exceptional Case ...
Tsutsu's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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Critics and arguments against the generative syntax theories?

The Generative approach on syntax is very elegant, useful and very complete as far as I can see. I think that, as all theories have, there must have some critics on it. But I don't know where to find ...
Ergative Man's user avatar
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What is the difference between generative grammar and transformation grammar?

If we put it in a simple way, can we say generative grammar is about tree diagram, and transformation grammar is how sentences can be interpreted in another way?
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2 votes
1 answer
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The Meaning <=> Text Theory (MTT)

I have recently read about "The Meaning <=> Text Theory" approach to syntax and would like to know more about it. Specifically, What are the main differences between this theory and the phrase ...
Roger V.'s user avatar
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4 votes
6 answers
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Do Modern Grammar Theories fall short in explaining Free Word Order?

Here's my childish challenge to generative grammar: Could anyone give me an analysis of Russian sentence Мама мыла раму. (Mom washed the (window) frame.) from the point of view of modern grammar ...
Roger V.'s user avatar
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