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In linguistics, a transformational grammar or transformational-generative grammar (TGG) is a generative grammar, especially of a natural language, that has been developed in theChomskyan tradition of phrase structure grammars (as opposed to dependency grammars). Additionally, transformational grammar is the tradition that gives rise to specific transformational grammars. Much current research in transformational grammar is inspired by Chomsky's Minimalist Program. Contents
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1 Deep structure and surface structure 2 Formal definition 3 Development of basic concepts 4 Innate linguistic knowledge 5 Grammatical theories 6 "I-Language" and "E-Language" 7 Grammaticality 8 Minimalism 9 Mathematical representation 10 Transformations 11 See also 12 References 13 External links
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this may not have been the central motivation for introducing deep structure. in the course of studies in the foundations of mathematics. deep structure was devised largely for technical reasons relating to early semantic theory. However. Chomsky believed there are considerable similarities between languages' deep structures. common to all languages that surface structures conceal. In fact. The deep structure represented the core semantic relations of a sentence. —Aspects of the Theory of Syntax
. a real understanding of how a language can (in Humboldt's words) "make infinite use of finite means" has developed only within the last thirty years. Although it was well understood that linguistic processes are in some sense "creative.• • • •
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In 1957. and was mapped on to the surface structure (which followed the phonological form of the sentence very closely) via transformations. Noam Chomsky published Syntactic Structures. Chomsky emphasizes the importance of modern formal mathematical devices in the development of grammatical theory: But the fundamental reason for [the] inadequacy of traditional grammars is a more technical one. Similarly." the technical devices for expressing a system of recursive processes were simply not available until much more recently. and that these structures reveal properties. Transformations had been proposed prior to the development of deep structure as a means of increasing the mathematical and descriptive power of context-free grammars. in which he developed the idea that each sentence in a language has two levels of representation — a deep structure and a surface structure.
took transformations to be relations between sentences such as "I finally met this talkshow host you always detested" and simpler (kernel) sentences "I finally met this talkshow host" and "You always detested this talkshow host".Chomsky's advisor. One of the most important of Chomsky's ideas is that most of this knowledge is innate. but the parse tree associated to them. but he helped to make the innateness theory respectable after a period dominated by more behavioristattitudes towards language. Chomsky and Ray Jackendoff had begun to argue that meaning was determined by both Deep and Surface Structure). the precise meanings of Deep Structure and Surface Structure have changed over time — by the 1970s. and PF — Phonetic Form). and `Government-Binding' (GB) versions of generative grammar. Chomsky developed a formal theory of grammar where transformations manipulated not just the surface strings. Perhaps more significantly. in which Deep Structure and Surface Structure no longer featured and PF and LF remained as the only levels of representation. To complicate the understanding of the development of Noam Chomsky's theories. but may no longer be sufficient for the current minimalist grammar in thatmerge may require a formal definition that goes beyond the tree manipulation characteristic of Move_α. two additional levels of representation were introduced (LF — Logical Form. he made concrete and technically sophisticated proposals about the
. `revised extended'. In particular. the two were normally referred to simply as D-Structure and S-Structure by Chomskyan linguists. Zellig Harris. with the result that a baby can have a large body of prior knowledge about the structure of language in general.
Terms such as "transformation" can give the impression that theories of transformational generative grammar are intended as a model for the processes through which the human mind constructs and understands sentences. Chomsky is clear that this is not in fact the case: a generative grammar models only the knowledge that underlies the human ability to speak and understand. Initially.  This definition proved adequate for subsequent versions including the `extended'. he has now abandoned the original notion of Deep Structure and Surface Structure.
of basic concepts
Though transformations continue to be important in Chomsky's current theories. the idea that the meaning of a sentence was determined by its Deep Structure (taken to its logical conclusions by the generative semanticists during the same period) was dropped for good by Chomskyan linguists when LF took over this role (previously. making transformational grammar a system of tree automata. Chomsky was not the first person to suggest that all languages had certain fundamental things in common (he quotes philosophers writing several centuries ago who had the same basic idea). and need only actually learn the idiosyncratic features of the language(s) it is exposed to. and then in the 1990s Chomsky sketched out a new program of research known as Minimalism.
g. progress in terms of descriptive adequacy will only come if linguists hold explanatory adequacy as their goal.
In 1986. and made important proposals regarding how the success of grammatical theories should be evaluated. real insight into the structure of individual languages can only be gained through comparative study of a wide range of languages. when speaking in the real world. Thus. A descriptively adequate grammar for a particular language defines the (infinite) set of grammatical sentences in that language. In other words. often make linguistic errors (e. the nature of such mental representations is largely innate. but makes predictions about how linguistic knowledge is mentally represented. and is therefore a mental object — from this perspective.. even though they may seem sensible and intuitive. even though linguists were still a long way from constructing descriptively adequate grammars. can only be studied if languages are treated as mental objects. Competence. it is the mentally represented linguistic knowledge that a native speaker of a language has. and useful in other areas of study. E-Language is not itself a coherent concept. i. Chomsky argued that.e. it describes the language in its entirety.. I-Language is taken to be the object of study in linguistic theory. Chomsky noted the obvious fact that people. similar but not identical to the competence/performance distinction. that is. E-Language encompasses all other notions of what a language is. he argues. the linguist can study an idealised version of language. so if a grammatical theory has explanatory adequacy it must be able to explain the various grammatical nuances of the languages of the world as relatively minor variations in the universal pattern of human language. competence. on the assumption that they are all cut from the same cloth. and Chomsky argues that such notions of language are not useful in the study of innate linguistic knowledge.
. Chomsky proposed a distinction between I-Language and E-Language. greatly simplifying linguistic analysis (see the "Grammaticality" section below). A grammar that achieves explanatory adequacy has the additional property that it gives an insight into the underlying linguistic structures in the human mind. For Chomsky.
In the 1960s. Consequently. Chomsky distinguished between grammars that achieve descriptive adequacy and those that go further and achieved explanatory adequacy. most of theoretical linguistics is a branch of psychology. Chomsky introduced two central ideas relevant to the construction and evaluation of grammatical theories. (I-language) refers to Internal language and is contrasted with External Language (or E-language).structure of language. for example that it is a body of knowledge or behavioural habits shared by a community. starting a sentence and then abandoning it midway through). The first was the distinction between competence and performance. The second idea related directly to the evaluation of theories of grammar. it does not merely describe the grammar of a language. He argued that these errors in linguistic performance were irrelevant to the study of linguistic competence (the knowledge that allows people to construct and understand grammatical sentences). that is.
nor to label particular utterances as either "grammatical" or "ungrammatical." But such sentences manifest a linguistic problem distinct from that posed by meaningful but ungrammatical (non)-sentences such as "man the bit sandwich the. according to Chomsky. The "Minimalist Program" aims at the further development of ideas involving economy of derivation and economy of representation.g. or feeling of wrongness in a native English speaker.e. or can be understood.
Main article: Minimalist program From the mid-1990s onwards. "Dogs bite" vs "A dog bites"). if a particular string of English words elicits a double take.Grammaticality
Further information: Grammaticality Chomsky argued that the notions "grammatical" and "ungrammatical" could be defined in a meaningful and useful way.
He argued that the intuition of a native speaker is enough to define the grammaticalness of a sentence.. and so this inflection contributes to meaning. transformations) only occur in order
to match interpretable features with uninterpretable features. is entirely distinct from the question of whether a sentence is meaningful. but in most
. making it interpretable. defining grammaticality in an unusually mentalistic way (for the time). This. as in Chomsky's famous example "colorless green ideas sleep furiously. but were still rather peripheral aspects of Transformational-generative grammar theory." Although few linguists in the 1950s actually took such an extreme position. The use of such intuitive judgments permitted generative syntacticians to base their research on a methodology in which studying language through a corpus of observed speech became downplayed. Chomsky was at an opposite extreme. An example of an interpretable feature is the plural inflection on regular English nouns. it can be said that the string of words is ungrammatical. e." the meaning of which is fairly clear.
Economy of derivation is a principle stating that movements (i. but not to hypothesize about why such patterns might occur. and when various extraneous factors affecting intuitions are controlled for.. The word dogs can only be used to refer to several dogs.. dogs. an extreme behaviorist linguist would argue that language can only be studied through recordings or transcriptions of actual speech. but no native speaker would accept as well formed. English verbs are inflected according to the number of their subject (e. It is possible for a sentence to be both grammatical and meaningless. much research in transformational grammar has been inspired by Chomsky's Minimalist Program. not a single dog. In contrast. the role of the linguist being to look for patterns in such observed speech.g. since the grammatical properties of constructed sentences were considered to be appropriate data to build a grammatical model on. that
is. which had started to become significant in the early 1990s.
an important feature of all transformational grammars is that they are more powerful than context-free grammars. Surface Structure is not present in Minimalist theories of syntax. For example.e. and the most recent phase-based theories also eliminate LF and PF as unitary levels of representation. a typical transformation in TG is the operation of subject-auxiliary inversion (SAI). these rules were stated as rules that held over strings of either terminals or constituent symbols or both. Both notions. The distinction ofDeep Structure vs.
the structure of a sentence should be no larger or more complex than required to satisfy constraints on grammaticality.
Returning to the more general mathematical notion of a grammar. Deep structures were generated by a set of phrase structure rules. This idea was formalized by Chomsky in the Chomsky hierarchy. Chomsky suggested that derivations proceed in phases. An additional aspect of minimalist thought is the idea that the derivation of syntactic structures should be uniform. i. although his specific examples regarding the inadequacy of CFGs in terms of their weak generative capacity were later disproven. as described here. His general position regarding the non-context-freeness of natural language has held up since then. In TGG. Minimalist approaches to phrase structure have resulted in "Bare Phrase Structure.
The usual usage of the term 'transformation' in linguistics refers to a rule that takes an input typically called the Deep Structure (in the Standard Theory) or D-structure (in the extended standard theory or government and binding theory) and changes it in some restricted way to result in a Surface Structure (or S-structure). This rule takes as its input a declarative sentence with an auxiliary: "John has eaten all the heirloom tomatoes. are somewhat vague. In 1998. Chomsky argued that it is impossible to describe the structure of natural languages using context-free grammars.sentences this inflection just duplicates the information about number that the subject noun already has." and transforms it into "Has John eaten all the heirloom tomatoes?" In their original formulation (Chomsky 1957). rules should not be stipulated as applying at arbitrary points in a derivation.
Economy of representation is the principle that grammatical structures must exist for a purpose. that is. and indeed the precise formulation of these principles is controversial. and it is therefore uninterpretable." an attempt to eliminate X-bar theory. X NP AUX Y X AUX NP Y
(where NP = Noun Phrase and AUX = Auxiliary)
.. but instead apply throughout derivations.
In the Extended Standard Theory and government and binding theory. GTs were abandoned in favor of recursive phrase structure rules. With the shift from rules to principles and constraints that was found in the 1970s... i. instead they add information to already existing trees by copying constituents. by the time of the Extended Standard Theory. The earliest conceptions of transformations were that they were construction-specific devices. as the operations Merge and Move. they are still present in tree-adjoining grammar as the Substitution and Adjunction operations. Transformations actually come of two types: (i) the post-Deep structure kind mentioned above. following the work of Joseph Emonds on structure preservation. a series of (possibly universal) rules that generates the underlying phrase-structure of a sentence. and they have recently re-emerged in mainstream generative grammar in Minimalism. the generalized transformation of embedding would take the kernel "Dave said X" and the kernel "Dan likes smoking" and combine them into "Dave said Dan likes smoking.In the 1970s. which describes a mapping between an underlying representation (the phoneme) and the surface form that is articulated during natural speech. For example. They take small structures.org/wiki/Transformational_grammar
In the 1950s the school of linguistic thought known as transformational-generative grammar received wide acclaim through the works of Noam Chomsky. All languages have the same deep structure. and combine them. Chomsky postulated a syntactic base of language (called deep structure).g. either atomic or generated by other rules. transformations are no longer structure changing operations at all.e. is identical to an actual sentence of a language. Chomsky 1957). However. which are string or structure changing. Generalized transformations were originally proposed in the earliest forms of generative grammar (e. there was a transformation that turned active sentences into passive ones. A different transformation raised embedded subjects into main clause subject position in sentences such as "John seems to have gone".wikipedia." GTs are thus structure building rather than structure changing. and yet a third reordered arguments in the dative alternation. transformations came to be viewed as holding over trees. which eventually changed into the single general rule of move alpha or Move. which consists of a series of phrase-structure rewrite rules. another form of transformation is the phonological rule. and a series of rules (called transformations) that act upon the phrase-structure to form more complex sentences. In generative phonology.
http://en. these construction-specific transformations morphed into general rules (all the examples just mentioned being instances of NP movement). The end result of a transformational-generative grammar is a surface structure that. and (ii) Generalized Transformations (GTs). but they differ from each other in surface structure
. By the end of government and binding theory in the late 1980s. For example. after the addition of words and pronunciations.
Read more: linguistics: Transformational-Generative Grammar — Infoplease.html#ixzz20PNE11bO
http://www.infoplease. pronunciation. a process characterizing human language's creativity.html
Definition: In linguistics.com/ce6/society/A0859302.because of the application of different rules for transformations. and word insertion. Although the first work done in transformational-generative grammar was syntactic. later studies have applied the theory to the phonological and semantic components of language.com http://www. a grammar (or set of rules) that indicates the structure and interpretation of sentences which native speakers of a language accept as belonging to the language.infoplease.com/ce6/society/A0859302. Modified in its theoretical principles and methods over succeeding years by many linguists. See also:
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Deep Structure and Surface Structure Linguistic Competence Linguistic Performance Poverty of the Stimulus Ten Types of Grammar Transformational Grammar
Etymology: Adopting the term generative from mathematics.
"A significant break in linguistic tradition came in 1957. principally in the USA. the year American Noam Chomsky'sSyntactic Structures appeared and presented the concept of a 'transformational generative grammar. a transformational generative grammar attempts to describe a native speaker's linguistic competence by framing linguistic descriptions as rules
. Another important distinction made in transformational-generative grammar is the difference between language competence (the subconscious control of a linguistic system) and language performance (the speaker's actual use of language).' A generative grammar is essentially one that 'projects' one or more given sets of sentences that make up the language one is describing. linguist Noam Chomsky introduced the concept of generative grammar in the 1950s.
Allyn and Bacon. .for 'generating' an infinite number of grammatical sentences." (Frank Parker and Kathryn Riley. Reaktion Books.about. A History of Language. it must precisely specify the rules of the grammar and their operating conditions. 1994) Also Known As: transformational generative grammar
http://grammar. "A generative grammar. A good way of trying to understand [Noam] Chomsky's point is to think of a generative grammar as essentially a definition of competence: a set of criteria that linguistic structures must meet to be judged acceptable. as understood by Chomsky. that is. .com/od/fh/g/gengrammterm. 1999)
"Simply put." (Steven Roger Fischer. . must also be explicit.htm
. Linguistics for Non-Linguists. a generative grammar is a theory of competence: a model of the
psychological system of unconscious knowledge that underlies a speaker's ability to produce and interpret utterances in a language.