7

I have tested such examples on informants extensively. The coreferential reading is very unlikely, but it is not completely impossible. The opposite order of noun and pronoun allows the coreferential reading easily, of course: (1) John wants Bill to be smart more fervently than his mother does. The acceptability contrast across the two variants ...


7

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 to generate all the possible grammatical expressions in that language. In its original sense, "generative" does not neccessarily mean "production-focussed",...


7

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 to English. Consider the question from the point of view of the tremendous impact that Chomsky's ideas have had on the linguistics world. Had Chomsky ever cited ...


6

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 Norbert Hornstein, Jairo Nunes, Grohmann. This text builds heavily on the Principles and Parameters approach to Government and Binding theory. If you are not ...


6

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 Chomsky's own thinking at the macro level, I'd recommend reading the following works in the order given: Syntactic Structures (1957) Current Issues in ...


5

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 domains of linguistics. First, there is a difference between "making reference to" and "making extensive use of". I could mention that Lushootseed has only 1 or ...


5

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 theories. And so on. But in practice, what you're learning is the theoretical framework that everyone in MP uses. You may later learn why they think MP leads to ...


4

This is an interesting case - there's an awful lot on the semantics of exceptive markers (such as the paper you linked to), but i'm not sure i'm familiar with anything on their syntax. One thing to note as a preliminary is that [but John], which i'll tentatively call the exceptive phrase, can appear discontinuous from the NP no one which it seems to modify, ...


4

The most famous example of a phenomenon which seems to argue against the context-freeness of natural language is cross-serial dependencies in Swiss German (Schieber, '85) (cross-serial dependencies can also be found in Dutch). Two facts about Swiss German are relevant here: Objects are case-marked (dative and accusative), diff. verbs sub-categorise for ...


4

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 current minimalist syntax. The no-tampering conditions does remain a very important part of minimalist syntax. I would like to know how that difficulty (if it is ...


4

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 broader structuralist program (see for instance F Newmeyer). In particular, generativism shares these structuralist commitments: Language as an interconnected ...


4

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 grammarian), but I read the Generativist blog "Faculty of Language", whose contributor Norbert Hornstein has made references to a "research program" in various posts (e....


4

'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 a system of rules that generates exactly those combinations of words that form grammatical sentences in a given language. is the definition of grammar. But ...


4

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 "tuntussuqatarniksaitengqiggtuq" crams an entire clause into it. The root "ssur" just means "to hunt", but after attaching 6 affixes, the full word means "He had not ...


4

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 of P (the 'transformational component' of G). All of the following are the case: For all CFG P, the TG (P, ∅) describes the same language. For some ...


4

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", you also have to learn how it acts syntactically: in this case, it basically combines with an NP to make a new NP. (In practice it's a bit more complicated, ...


4

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 did a quick google search, and the closest I could come was a definition by Haj Ross of "the universal base hypothesis" that makes base rules universal except ...


4

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 metasymbol standing for both NP and V(P). Grammatical relations are captured in a separate structure (an AVM in LFG). The AVM for “mama” would be the value of the ...


4

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, when a mathematical function generates a curve. The calculation of the points on the curve for values of the variables in the function is explicit and well-...


4

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 the game of professional baseball with the similar pick-up game played on vacant lots or in parks by young people -- "sandlot baseball". The professional game is ...


4

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, their incoherence is often such that we are hard pressed to see that they have any entailments at all. Linguists have spoken of anomaly in cases like those ...


3

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 introduced by Noam Chomsky in the 1950s 2- Any theory of grammar which has as its goal the construction of such grammar Generative grammar has its roots firmly ...


3

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 structure building to precede all movement processes, you're in some sense postulating at least two different levels of representation. Economy of derivation ...


3

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 move within linguistics without encountering some aspect of it. You could say that most introduction to linguistics are written from the functionalist perspective. ...


3

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 question does not apply to minimalist syntax in that minimalist syntax does not assume that the leaves of a syntax tree must necessarily host words. On the other hand, ...


3

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, GG is a perfectly explicit description of the competence of the ideal speaker-hearer (Aspects p. 4), but then there isn't much GG around, given the "perfectly ...


3

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 which is given a representation and is characterized according to the form of that representation. Formulas which do not meet the requirements on form cannot ...


3

I am giving it a try, but I fear that, whatever the definitions chosen, there will be unsatisfied people. Let's discuss it. A formal grammar may be defined as a set of string rewriting rules that are used to specify a set of strings, in a mathematically precise way. In some cases they may associate structural information with the string. There are also ...


3

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 formal syntacticians of any version, separated into Chomskian vs. opposing theories such as LFG, RG, HPSG. The core concept is "mathematically explicit", and there ...


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