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TRANSFORMATIONAL GENERATIVE (TG) GRAMMAR

In linguistics, a transformational grammar or transformationalgenerative grammar (TGG) is a generative grammar, especially of a natural language, that has been developed in the Chomskyan tradition of phrase structure grammars. The name transformational-generative suggests that there are two aspects of this theory. The grammar it provides is both transformational! and generative!.

 Transformational:
It is because of the shortcomings of phrase structure grammar and because of other reasons that "oam Chomsky came to the view that notions of phrase structure are #uite ade#uate for a small part of the language and that the rest of the language can be derived by repeated application of a rather simple set of transformations of the strings given by the phrase structure grammar to cover the entire language directly, we would lose the simplicity of the limited phrase structure grammar and of the transformational development!. $imply speaking a transformation can be thought of as transforming one sentence into another, the deep structure into surface structure. %hereas active sentences are kernel sentences, passives are the transforms. There are plenty of other transformations. &or e'ample Has John seen Mary? is a transform of John has seen Mary (by simple transfer of has which is technically described as permutation!). A snake was killed by Ali is the transform of the sentence in the active voice( Ali killed a snake (by passivi)ation). $imilarly The man who was standing there ran away is the transformation of the two sentences. (*) The man ran away and (2) The man was standing there (by relative transformation). Chomsky makes a fundamental distinction between two kinds of sentences( Kernel sentence and transforms. +ernel sentences are the basic, elementary sentences of the language, the stuff from which all else is made. Transforms are the all else! structures drawn from the kernel sentences. ,n -nglish kernel sentence consists of a noun phrase followed by a verb phrase. %e indicate this with the formula $ ". / 0.. The kernel is the part of -nglish that is basic and fundamental. It is the heart of the grammar, the core of the language. ,ll the other structures of -nglish are derivations from, or transformations of the +-terminal strings. , basic or kernel sentence is simple, assertive, declarative, and active in form. %e can transform these kernel sentences into different types of sentences such as negative, interrogative, and imperative. 1y transformation we simply mean to change one sentence into another, or the deep structure into surface structure. The active sentences are kernel! or deep structure, and the passive sentences are transformed or surface structure2 e.g. *. John plays football. (+ernel sentence or deep structure)

3. Football is played by John. (Transformed sentence or surface structure)
&ollowing sentences are the results of transformations applied to the kernel sentence John opened the door!. *. 4ohn did not open the door. 3. 5id 4ohn open the door6 7. 5idn!t 4ohn open the door6 8. The door was opened by 4ohn. 9. The door was not opened by 4ohn. :. %as the door opened by 4ohn6 ;. %asn!t the door opened by 4ohn6

These sentences are derived from the same underlying string. They are generated by means of optional transformations. They differ in that( (*) has had the "egative transformation applied2 (3) Interrogative2 (7) the "egative and Interrogative2 (8) the .assive2 (9) the .assive and "egative2 (:) the .assive and Interrogative2 (;) the .assive, "egative and Interrogative. Optional and Obligatory Transformation The transformational component contains rules which can alter the kernel in various ways. "egative <uestions and .assive transformations are optional2 other transformations are obligatory. $uch as the number transformation which deal with the agreement of a noun phrase with its verb. In The door was opened by John! the number transformation specifies that a singular noun phrase (the door) must be followed by a singular verb (was). =any changes have been taking place in T> since its first inception in *?9;. Chomsky himself had modified many details in his grammar. , modified version appeared in *?:9 with the publication of the Aspe"ts of the theory of $ynta' in which the notion of kernel has been abandoned by Chomsky, but modifications are still being made.

 Generative:
It means that a grammar must generate! all and only the grammatical sentences of a language. 1y this is not meant that a grammar should literally bring all these sentences into e'istence. It means merely that grammar must be so formulated that by following its rules and conventions we could produce all or any of the possible sentences of the language. To generate! is thus to predict! what could be sentences of the language or to specify! what are the possible sentences of the language. Thus grammar should generate# spe"ify# predi"t the grammatical@acceptable sentences of the language and not the ungrammatical@unacceptable ones. $o a generative grammar is not concerned with any ,CTA,B set of sentences of the language but with .C$$I1B- set of sentences. %e are not concerned merely with any observed sentences (utterance) that have occurred, but rather with those that can or could have occurred. The advocates of T> have said that any corpus has a finite number of sentences, no matter, yet a language consists of an infinite number of sentences. This infinity is a result of what is known as ‘recursion’Dthat we can apply the same linguistic device over again. To say that the number of sentences is infinite does not mean that the grammar itself is infinite. Cne the contrary, it has finite number of rules but allows to generate the infinite set of sentences. The T> grammar not only analy)e the sentences, divides them and shows the functions of its various parts but also rearranges them and shows the interrelationship between sentences. The short comings of the .$> were sought to be removed by T> grammar. ,ccording to ". E. Cattell ‘He did not
re ect t!e "!ole notion of using immediate constituents# !e merely s!o"ed t!at t!is met!od "as not po"erful enoug! by itself to account for t!e "!ole of sentence structure. $t must be used in con unction "it! some ot!er met!od.’

F%hen it comes to synta', G"oamH Chomsky is famous for proposing that beneath every sentence in the mind of a speaker is an invisible, inaudible deep structure, the interface to the mental le'icon. The deep structure is converted by transformational rules into a surface structure that corresponds more closely to what is pronounced and heard. The rationale is that certain constructions, if they were listed in the mind as surface structures, would have to be multiplied out in thousands of redundant variations that would have to have been learned one by one, whereas if the constructions were listed as deep structures, they would be simple, few in number, and economically learned.F ($teven .inker, $ords and %&les. 1asic 1ooks, *???)

 TRANSFORMATIONAL RULES
%. &rescriptive or normative rules
These rules are based on traditional grammar, so they are very much conventional. They tell us to avoid ending sentences with prepositions, the difference between owing to and d&e to# and allow us to generate the sentences such as 't is ' instead of 't is me. He is bigger than ' am instead of He is bigger than me. These rules are based on pseudo-logic. That is why most of them have no validity.

'. (escriptive rules
These rules are universally accepted cent-percent valid rules. &or e'ample, plural nouns are, as subIects, always followed by plural of verb, or that uncountable nouns cannot be preceded by indefinite articles.

). *e"rite rules
These rules are those of T> grammar. They rewrite one symbol as another or as several others until the sentences of the languages are generated. This system deals with symbols. It starts with the symbol $ (which stands for sentence), and then a se#uence of rules rewrite! this symbol until a sentence is produced. ,t both right and left sides, a symbol or set of symbols are given, and there is an arrow in the middle which is interpreted to mean rewrite2 e.g. , 1C means rewrite! , as 1C. Book at the following e'ample( The girl sang a song. , simple set of rules for this sentence can be as follows. (*) $ (3) 0. (7) ". (8) 0 (9) 5et. (:) " ". / 0. 0 / ". 5et. / " sang The, a girls, song

If we apply the rules in se#uence, we generate the following strings! successively. $ ". / 0. ". / (0 / ".) 5et. / " / (0 / 5et. / ") 5et. / " / (sang / 5et. / ") the / " / (sang / , / ") the / girls / sang / a / song J The girls sang a song.

$uch set of rules is a derivation of a sentence. The word string! is used for the se#uence of symbols, and the final string beyond which the rules do not takes us, is the terminal string. %e may write the rules of the sentence The girls sang a song in terms of a phrase structure tree.

$

".

0.

5et. T!e

" girls

0

".

5et. sang a

" song

Eepresentation of the phrase structure of a sentence in this way is known as its p!rase marker (or &-marker) .hrase structure rules in transformational-generative grammar form the basic part of the grammar. These rules are technically described as the base component. There is a difference between .$ grammar and T> grammar. The former runs under restriction while the latter covers a wide area of generation. 1y following the phrase structure rules we cannot generate passive sentences from active ones maintaining the similarity in meaning. Cf course, we can generate, if we wish, passive sentences by writing .$-rules to produce passive forms of the verbs. 1ut by doing so we may provide the grammatical accuracy without providing the similarity in meaning which is the basic re#uirement of T> grammar.
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