8 votes
Accepted

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 ...
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7 votes

What does "generative" mean? Can a linguistic theory be non-generative?

For a short version, I'll cite my proposed tag wiki for generative-grammar: A theory usually associated with Noam Chomsky that accounts for a language's grammar by a system of rules that are able ...
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  • 6,120
6 votes

What is the best introduction to Chomskyan linguistics?

The current generative (Chomskyan) approach to syntax is known as the minimalist program. If you want a rigorous introduction to this formalism, you should check Understanding Minimalism (2005) by ...
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  • 336
6 votes

Resources to Chomsky's Universal Grammar

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 ...
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  • 1,667
5 votes

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

The real question that should be asked is, why would anyone write a textbook in the first place? I will only address the question as it applies to phonology, but similar answers can be given for all ...
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5 votes
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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 ...
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  • 2,585
5 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between generative grammar and transformation grammar?

The "generative" in "generative grammar" is defined by Chomsky in Aspects of the Theory of Syntax as meaning "explicit". Chomsky compares this sense of "generate" to its use in analytic geometry, ...
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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 ...
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5 votes
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Is Generative / X-bar Theory prescriptivist? (can the descriptivist linguist create X-bar syntax trees?)

X-bar theory is prescriptivist in a certain sense. It prescribes certain things about the structure of syntax trees: that all branching is binary, for example, and that every XP level dominates an X' ...
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4 votes

Isn´t there a contradiction between 'feature-checking' and 'no tampering'?

Isn't there a contradiction between 'feature-checking' and 'no tampering'? Yes, there is, for the reasons you outlined. I do not know whether 'no tampering' remains an important principle of ...
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  • 1,846
4 votes

What's the difference between structural and generative linguistics?

You cannot really compare structuralist and generative linguistics directly. In broadest terms, generative linguistics is one way to study and model language structure. It is therefore a part of the ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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4 votes
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What would be the obstacles to creating a language composed of all the words of all the human languages existing today?

Languages are more than just collections of words, and you're going to run into many problems at many levels. Let's pick one really obvious problem: What counts as a word? The single Yupik word "...
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  • 2,585
4 votes

Can a TG generate sentences which a CFG cannot generate?

A transformational grammar G is a tuple (P,T) where P is some context-sensitive (e.g. context free) grammar (the 'base component' of G) and T is a finite sequence of transformations over the alphabet ...
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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", ...
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4 votes

Do Modern Grammar Theories fall short in explaining Free Word Order?

You say you assume that TGG assumes underlying SVO order for all languages. Why do you assume this? I don't recall any TGG linguist ever proposing such a thing (and I've been around awhile). I just ...
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4 votes

Do Modern Grammar Theories fall short in explaining Free Word Order?

Good points. Exactly this criticism led to the creation of other frameworks in the 1970s and 1980s. In LFG, say, your example sentence would be analysed by the (exocetric) rule S -> X, where X is a ...
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  • 2,469
4 votes

Is there a linguistic term for “grammatically well-formed word salad”?

Semantic anomaly is the word you're looking for: Incoherent sentences that are not surface conjunctions of contradictory sentences do not so blatantly generate contradictory entailments. Indeed, ...
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  • 6,120
4 votes

Is Panini's grammar regular in the same sense as that present in the Chomsky hierarchy?

This page explains the concept of "regular expression". Also note this discussion of "regex" features available in e.g. Word's regex search and replace function, which are beyond ...
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3 votes
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The Inflectional Phrase and Welsh

I googled for Joan Bresnan which @Atamiri mentioned in the comment and think I've found the analysis that he/she was mentioning and should be what you are looking for. According to Bresnan (1997), ...
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  • 6,120
3 votes

What does "generative" mean? Can a linguistic theory be non-generative?

There are many definitions of "generative (grammar)", so there can be no single answer. A separate and interesting question would be to document usage of the term "generative" in publications of ...
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3 votes
Accepted

Why is merge useful?

Merge is more useful as a structure building operation than traditional phrase structure rules or X-bar theory, because unlike the latter, it can freely intersperse with movement. If you require ...
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  • 336
3 votes

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

This is a very broad question, particularly since you put systemic in Systemic Functional Linguistics/Grammar in parentheses. If you think about the broader functionalist program, you can hardly ...
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3 votes

How do formal theories analyse the syntax of polysynthetic languages?

The question is too broad to answer completely (to start with, it presupposes a shibboleth to distinguish formal theories of syntax), but the answer is easy for minimalism. The comment in the ...
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  • 1,846
3 votes

What's the difference between structural and generative linguistics?

1- particular grammar of a particular language which, in a purely mechanical way is capable of enumerating all and anly the grammatical sentences of that language. Generative grammar in this sense was ...
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3 votes
Accepted

What is the relation between formal grammar and generative grammar?

A generative grammar is one that is fully explicit, in Chomsky's characterization (and I agree). Chomsky made the analogy to the way a mathematical function generates a curve. A formal system is one ...
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3 votes
Accepted

What's the difference between structural and generative linguistics?

The fundamental difference is that generative grammar purports to be a model of mental processes and (quasi-classical, non-Sapirian) structuralist linguistics denies that or is agnostic. Technically, ...
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  • 66.5k
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 ...
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