::Generative grammar


Grammar::theory    Chomsky::grammar    Standard::language    Grammars::theory    First::music    Sentence::extended

{{#invoke:Sidebar|sidebar}} Generative grammar is a linguistic theory that considers grammar to be a system of rules that is intended to generate exactly those combinations of words which form grammatical sentences in a given language. The term was originally used in relation to the theories of grammar developed by Noam Chomsky, beginning in the late 1950s. Linguists who follow the generative approach originated by Chomsky have been called generativists. The generative school has focused on the study of syntax, but has also addressed other aspects of a language's structure, including morphology and phonology.

Early versions of Chomsky's theory were called transformational grammar, and this is still used as a general term that includes his subsequent theories, the most recent being the Minimalist Program. Chomsky has said, however, that the first generative grammar in the modern sense was Panini's Sanskrit grammar,<ref name=front>S.S. Chattopadhyay, "An event in Kolkata", Frontline</ref> and he has also acknowledged other historical antecedents, such as Humboldt's description of language as a system which "makes infinite use of finite means." Chomsky and other generativists have argued that many of the properties of a generative grammar arise from a universal grammar which is innate to the human brain, rather than being learned from the environment (see the poverty of the stimulus argument).

There are a number of competing versions of generative grammar currently practiced within linguistics. Other theories that have been proposed include dependency grammar, head-driven phrase structure grammar, lexical functional grammar, categorial grammar, relational grammar, link grammar, and tree-adjoining grammar. In stochastic grammar, grammatical correctness is taken as a probabilistic variable, rather than a discrete (yes–no) property.

Generative grammar sections
Intro   Frameworks    Context-free grammars    Grammaticality judgments    Music    See also    References    Further reading   

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: Frameworks