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 ...
Tim Osborne's user avatar
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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 ...
Natalie Clarius's user avatar
6 votes

Human natural language metalanguage

In 1984, I created an Expert System, named XTRAN (TM), whose domain of expertise is computer languages, data, and text. XTRAN parses language content to XTRAN Internal Representation, known as XIR (...
Stephen F. Heffner's user avatar
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 ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
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
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, ...
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
  • 12.5k
5 votes
Accepted

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' ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 66.2k
5 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 ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
5 votes

Acceptability and grammaticality

"Acceptability" is about speaker judgments of utterances, whether they "accept" a stimulus. "Grammaticality" is not about speakers, it is about the abstract grammar that ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
5 votes

What are the contemporary schools of linguistics?

The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Analysis is an excellent book for getting an overview of many distinct paradigms in modern linguistics. Indeed, the introduction says that that is its aim. It ...
Julius Hamilton'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
  • 1,033
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
Accepted

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 "...
abarnert's user avatar
  • 2,625
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 ...
Keelan's user avatar
  • 4,214
4 votes
Accepted

( 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
  • 66.2k
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 ...
Greg Lee's user avatar
  • 12.5k
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 ...
Atamiri's user avatar
  • 2,590
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, ...
Natalie Clarius's user avatar
4 votes

Why does Chomsky consider recursion in language to be a "narrow" ability unique to humans?

First you need to understand what recursion is, especially as applicable to linguistic structure. It is typically understood (defined) as the situation where a type α is defined in terms of type α. ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
4 votes

What is HMC in generative grammar?

This stands for "Head Movement Constraint". It was introduced by Lisa Travis in her 1984 MIT dissertation Parameters and Effects of Word Order Variation, p. 131: Head Movement Constraint: ...
Keelan's user avatar
  • 4,214
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
Accepted

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), ...
Natalie Clarius's user avatar
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 ...
Reshma praveen's user avatar
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 ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.1k
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
Accepted

Minimalism - a question about a property of merge operation

Not precisely (for the order implications see Kayne 1994 - The antisymmetry of syntax - but note that the work is not uniformly accepted within Minimalism). Merge is asymmetrical because one of the ...
Viridianus's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between trace and PRO?

Both PRO & Trace have no phonetic realisation, they belong to empty categories (null elements). I see that you took 'trace' in general, you have to specify which trace: (i) wh-tace or (ii) NP ...
Tsutsu's user avatar
  • 1,068

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