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Generative grammar

Generative grammar
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Generative grammar
In theoretical linguistics, a generative grammar refers to a particular approach to the study of syntax. A generative
grammar of a language attempts to give a set of rules that will correctly predict which combinations of words will
form grammatical sentences. In most approaches to generative grammar, the rules will also predict the morphology
of a sentence.
[citation needed]
Generative grammar arguably originates in the work of Noam Chomsky, beginning in the
late 1950s. However, Chomsky has said that the first generative grammar in the modern sense was Panini's Sanskrit
Chomsky also acknowledges other historical antecedents.
Early versions of Chomsky's theory were called transformational grammar, and this term is still used as a general
term that includes his subsequent theories. There are a number of competing versions of generative grammar
currently practiced within linguistics. Chomsky's current theory is known as the Minimalist program. Other
prominent theories include or have included dependency grammar, head-driven phrase structure grammar, lexical
functional grammar, categorial grammar, relational grammar, link grammar, and tree-adjoining grammar.
Chomsky has argued that many of the properties of a generative grammar arise from an "innate" universal grammar.
Proponents of generative grammar have argued that most grammar is not the result of communicative function and is
not simply learned from the environment (see the poverty of the stimulus argument). In this respect, generative
grammar takes a point of view different from cognitive grammar, functional, and behaviorist theories.
[citation needed]
Most versions of generative grammar characterize sentences as either grammatically correct (also known as well
formed) or not. The rules of a generative grammar typically function as an algorithm to predict grammaticality as a
discrete (yes-or-no) result. In this respect, it differs from stochastic grammar, which considers grammaticality as a
probabilistic variable. However, some work in generative grammar (e.g. recent work by Joan Bresnan) uses
stochastic versions of optimality theory.
[citation needed]
There are a number of different approaches to generative grammar. Common to all is the effort to come up with a set
of rules or principles that formally defines each and every one of the members of the set of well-formed expressions
of a natural language. The term generative grammar has been associated with at least the following schools of
Transformational grammar (TG)
Standard Theory (ST)
Extended Standard Theory (EST)
Revised Extended Standard Theory (REST)
Principles and Parameters Theory (P&P)
Government and Binding Theory (GB)
Minimalist Program (MP)
Monostratal (or non-transformational) grammars
Relational Grammar (RG)
Lexical-Functional Grammar (LFG)
Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar (GPSG)
Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG)
Categorial Grammar
Tree-Adjoining Grammar
Generative grammar
Historical development of models of transformational grammar
Chomsky, in an award acceptance speech delivered in India in 2001, claimed "The first generative grammar in the
modern sense was Panini's grammar".
This work, called the Ashtadhyayi, was composed by the middle of the 1st
millennium BCE.
Generative grammar has been under development since the late 1950s, and has undergone many changes in the types
of rules and representations that are used to predict grammaticality. In tracing the historical development of ideas
within generative grammar, it is useful to refer to various stages in the development of the theory.
Standard Theory (19571965)
The so-called Standard Theory corresponds to the original model of generative grammar laid out in Chomsky (1965).
A core aspect of Standard Theory is a distinction between two different representations of a sentence, called Deep
structure and Surface structure. The two representations are linked to each other by transformational grammar.
Extended Standard Theory (19651973)
The so-called Extended Standard Theory was formulated in the late 1960s to early 1970s. Features are:
syntactic constraints
generalized phrase structures (X-bar theory)
Revised Extended Standard Theory (19731976)
The so-called Revised Extended Standard Theory was formulated between 1973 and 1976. It contains
restrictions upon X-bar theory (Jackendoff (1977)).
assumption of the COMP position.
Relational grammar (ca. 19751990)
An alternative model of syntax based on the idea that notions like Subject, Direct Object, and Indirect Object play a
primary role in grammar.
Government and binding/Principles and parameters theory (19811990)
Chomsky's Lectures on Government and Binding (1981) and Barriers (1986).
Context-free grammars
Generative grammars can be described and compared with the aid of the Chomsky hierarchy proposed by Noam
Chomsky in the 1950s. This sets out a series of types of formal grammars with increasing expressive power. Among
the simplest types are the regular grammars (type 3); Chomsky claims that regular grammars are not adequate as
models for human language, because all human languages allow the center-embedding of strings within strings.
At a higher level of complexity are the context-free grammars (type 2). The derivation of a sentence by a grammar
can be depicted as a derivation tree. Linguists working in generative grammar often view such derivation trees as a
primary object of study. According to this view, a sentence is not merely a string of words, but rather a tree with
subordinate and superordinate branches connected at nodes.
Essentially, the tree model works something like this example, in which S is a sentence, D is a determiner, N a noun,
V a verb, NP a noun phrase and VP a verb phrase:
Generative grammar
The resulting sentence could be The dog ate the bone. Such a tree diagram is also called a phrase marker. They can
be represented more conveniently in text form, (though the result is less easy to read); in this format the above
sentence would be rendered as:
The ] [
dog ] ] [
ate ] [
the ] [
bone ] ] ] ]
Chomsky has argued that phrase structure grammars are also inadequate for describing natural languages, and
formulated the more complex system of transformational grammar.
Grammaticality judgments
When generative grammar was first proposed, it was widely hailed as a way of formalizing the implicit set of rules a
person "knows" when they know their native language and produce grammatical utterances in it (grammaticality
intuitions). However Chomsky has repeatedly rejected that interpretation; according to him, the grammar of a
language is a statement of what it is that a person has to know in order to recognize an utterance as grammatical, but
not a hypothesis about the processes involved in either understanding or producing language.
[citation needed]
Generative grammar has been used to a limited extent in music theory and analysis since the 1980s.
The most
well-known approaches were developed by Mark Steedman as well as Fred Lerdahl and Ray Jackendoff, who
formalised and extended ideas from Schenkerian analysis.
More recently, such early generative approaches to
music were further developed and extended by several scholars.
[1] http:/ / en. wikipedia. org/ w/ index. php?title=Template:Linguistics& action=edit
[2] S.S. Chattopadhyay, event in Kolkata (http:/ / www. frontlineonnet. com/ fl1825/ 18250150. htm''An), Frontline
[3] Another example is Humboldt. Chomsky quotes Humboldt's description of language as a system which "makes infinite use of finite means".
[4] Baroni, M., Maguire, S., and Drabkin, W. (1983). The Concept of Musical Grammar. Music Analysis, 2:175208.
[5] Baroni, M. and Callegari, L. (1982) Eds., Musical grammars and computer analysis. Leo S. Olschki Editore: Firenze, 201218.
[6] Heinrich Schenker, Free Composition. (Der Freie Satz) translated and edited by Ernst Ostler. New York: Longman, 1979.
[7] Tojo, O. Y. & Nishida, M. (2006). Analysis of chord progression by HPSG. In Proceedings of the 24th IASTED international conference on
Artificial intelligence and applications, 305310.
[8] Rohrmeier, Martin (2007). A generative grammar approach to diatonic harmonic structure. In Spyridis, Georgaki, Kouroupetroglou,
Anagnostopoulou (Eds.), Proceedings of the 4th Sound and Music Computing Conference, 97100. http:/ / smc07. uoa. gr/
SMC07%20Proceedings/ SMC07%20Paper%2015. pdf
[9] [9] Giblin, Iain (2008). Music and the generative enterprise. Doctoral dissertation. University of New South Wales.
[10] Katz, Jonah; David Pesetsky (2009) "The Identity Thesis for Language and Music". http:/ / ling. auf. net/ lingBuzz/ 000959
Generative grammar
Further reading
Chomsky, Noam. 1965. Aspects of the theory of syntax. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.
Hurford, J. (1990) Nativist and functional explanations in language acquisition. In I. M. Roca (ed.), Logical
Issues in Language Acquisition, 85136. Foris, Dordrecht.
Isac, Daniela; Charles Reiss (2008). I-language: An Introduction to Linguistics as Cognitive Science (http:/ /
linguistics. concordia. ca/ i-language/ ). Oxford University Press. ISBN978-0-19-953420-3.
Article Sources and Contributors
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