10 votes
Accepted

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

I don't personally believe that CFL are insufficient, but among linguists who care about weak generative capacity (probably most don't care about the issue), the consensus seems to be that they are. ...
Greg Lee's user avatar
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10 votes

I'm having trouble understanding chomskyan linguistics

Neither the behaviorist model of 65+ years ago nor Chomsky's model were submitted to rigorous empirical testing in the realm of first language acquisition, because neither was made explicit enough ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
8 votes

What is the essence of the dispute between Wolfe and Chomsky?

It's complex at first but there's very little controversy to be found. Noam Chomsky is a linguist and political activist famous for revolutionizing the study of all areas of linguistics via ...
Mitch's user avatar
  • 4,455
8 votes
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To what extent was Chomsky influenced by Tesnière?

I do not think that Chomsky ever cited Tesnière in a meaningful way, because if he had, we would know about it. I state this as the main translator of Tesnière's work Elements of structural syntax ...
Tim Osborne's user avatar
  • 5,747
7 votes

What is the essence of the dispute between Wolfe and Chomsky?

Chomsky's argument for the Universal Grammar: Children pick up language quickly because of a Language Acquisition Device (LAD). While the LAD is hypothetical, Chomsky believes it to be innate and a ...
rajah9's user avatar
  • 584
7 votes
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Where to start if you want to do Chomsky style NLP?

I hadn't heard the term "statistical theory (of language)", but it seems to be a misnomer. I gather from your references that you take some data and use it to estimate the parameters of some ...
Greg Lee's user avatar
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7 votes

How did Chomsky conceive orthography and spelling?

The first relevant work that I know of are comments for Project Literacy Meeting, Chicago, August 6, 1964, which was later published in Readings in applied transformational grammar, ed. by M. Lester (...
user6726's user avatar
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5 votes

Where did the discussion of the language faculty between Fitch, Hauser, Chomsky and Pinker and Jackendoff terminate?

The debate ended in 2005. Shortly after this, Chomsky (2005/2008 (written in 2005, and circulated, published in 2008) wrote On Phases which did not acknowledge anything from his previous papers co-...
Ghoti657's user avatar
  • 321
5 votes
Accepted

Question on move operation

First, let me get the usual caveats out of the way: MP is a program, not a theory. It tells you what kinds of questions to ask about syntax, and guides you in comparing the answers from competing ...
abarnert's user avatar
  • 2,625
5 votes

Is Wikipedia's argument for Universal Grammar completely fallacious?

Beginning with your very last parenthesized question, does "this" refer to the argument you quote from Wikipedia or the argument you yourself make that begins with "however"? And why does that ...
Greg Lee's user avatar
  • 12.5k
5 votes

Critics and arguments against the generative syntax theories?

The best argument I've encountered against generative syntax is that made in C.F. Hockett's State of the Art. Personally, I don't subscribe to it, but you may find it persuasive. Hockett compares ...
Greg Lee's user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

Is generative grammar a theory or an approach?

My impression is that generative grammar is viewed by some grammarians as a Lakotosian 'research program(me)', not as a 'refutable "theory"'. I am not a generative grammarian (or any kind of ...
brass tacks's user avatar
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4 votes
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Why do 'wonder' and 'think' act differently in wh-movement?

Wonder takes an embedded interrogative complement with its own internal trace: You wonder who John saw t. You wonder who t saw John. You wonder why I left t. When you front that wh- you're ...
StoneyB on hiatus's user avatar
4 votes

Is generative grammar a theory or an approach?

'Generative Grammar' is an ill defined term. You will find linguists using it to mean 'Chomskian Grammar', and linguist who think it can also refer to certain construction grammars. You mention that ...
MGN's user avatar
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4 votes
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( New formulation) Are parts of speech syntactic categories? ( A question on generative grammer)

To my understanding, it's the other way around. According to generativists, syntactic categories are a fundamental part of the mental grammar of a language. When you learn a new lemma, like "purple", ...
Draconis's user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

What does Chomsky mean by "let the rules run freely"?

Cool quote - but the simple answer is pretty short. He means the rules which govern how language works, where it comes from, or as he might be inclined to call it, the “language faculty” or possibly “...
Julius Hamilton's user avatar
3 votes

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

Linguistic performance is part of "language", in the E-language sense. Generative theory is a theory of the computational mechanism, which underlies human speech output. So the grammar say "Do X", but ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
3 votes

Is generative grammar a theory or an approach?

It's an approach, not a theory (IMO, naturally). In Aspects of the Theory of Syntax (where "generative grammar" was first given currency, Chomsky likens the relationship of a grammar to the sentences ...
Greg Lee's user avatar
  • 12.5k
3 votes

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

(Disclaimer: I am not a specialist in Syntax) According to the X-bar Theory, Adjectives, as any other lexical category, undergo three different levels of projection. They can have Complements (which ...
Artemij Keidan's user avatar
3 votes

How was De Saussure's Langue and Parole different from Chomsky's Competence and Performance?

The main difference is probably that Chomsky's competence is a purely individual notion: it's the linguistic knowledge of a single speaker-hearer. Saussure's langue, by contrast, is not a property of ...
George Walkden's user avatar
3 votes

Can 'a system of rules that assigns [...] meaning in a definite way' be replaced with 'semantics'?

Chomsky (in this passage) defines universal grammar as "a system of rules that assigns sound and meaning in a definite way for an infinite class of possible sentences." He writes that it (=universal ...
Alex B.'s user avatar
  • 8,744
3 votes

( New formulation) Are parts of speech syntactic categories? ( A question on generative grammer)

Generative grammar emerged most directly from formalism (and see formalism in mathematics). I'm not saying that Noam Chomsky is a formalist, but in his early work from the 50s, it is clear that in ...
Greg Lee's user avatar
  • 12.5k
3 votes

Saussure and Modern Linguistics

There is a difference between "Chomsky" and "modern linguistics". Chomsky is the founder of an influential school of modern linguistics, but there are other schools of modern ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
3 votes

Wouldn't the premise of Chomsky's universal grammar theory be trivially true?

Well, the obvious counter-position to Chomsky is something like: Give a species a large enough brain, and it will start to develop language just as an emergent phenomenon of having enough intelligence....
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
2 votes

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

You can find a somewhat detailed, yet informal discussion of this topic in Chapter 5 of Isac and Reiss 2008/2013 I-Language: An Introduction to Linguistics as Cogntive Science. (I am one of the ...
Charles Reiss's user avatar
2 votes

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

TL;DR: in a proper finite-state language, you only need finite memory to determine whether an arbitrary pattern is valid or not. This language requires you to remember how many as have been ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 66.2k
2 votes

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

Begin with "The sloppy eating of fish is disgusting", with the noun "eating", and replace the PP "of fish" with the direct object NP "fish", thus creating a transitive construction. Notice that "...
Greg Lee's user avatar
  • 12.5k
2 votes
Accepted

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

It's not about "poverty of the stimulus". It's about the creativity of human language. Humans have both an evolved grammatical mechanism and an intellectual capacity which they bring to language ...
Greg Lee's user avatar
  • 12.5k

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