Generative grammar

Generative grammar is a theory of grammar that centrally claims the existence of a universal grammar.

A generative grammar is an algorithm for specifying, or generating, all and only the grammatical sentences in a language. [1]

In generative grammar, the means for modeling these procedures is through a set of productions, which tell us the order in which to put word. These rules are through to generate the sentences of a language, hence the name generative grammar. These rules tell you step by step how to put together words into a sentence.


1   Structure

A generative grammar is an automaton.

2   Classification

2.1   Transformational Grammar

A transformational grammar (TG) is a generative grammar that has been developed in the Chomskyan tradition of phrase structure grammar.

3   Properties

Generative grammar strives toward an explanatorily adequate grammar.

A string can be proven to be grammatical by generating a parse tree for it.

4   History & Influence

Generative grammar originate from the work of Noam Chomsky and his followers, starting in the mid 1950s and continuing to this day.

Generative grammar has had many different names through its development (Transformational Grammar, Transformational Generative Grammar, Standard Theory, Extended Standard Theory, Government and Binding Theory, Principles and Parameters approach (P&P), and Minimalist program (1993)).

A number of alternate theories of syntax have also branched off of this research program; these include Lexical Functional Grammar (LFG) and Head Driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG).

4.1   Deep structure

Chomsky noted that by dividing deep structures from surfaces structures, one could understand "slip of the tongue" moments (when someone say something one did not instend) as instances where deep structures do not translate into intended surface structure.

The deep structure concept caught on in unrelated fields (e.g architecture, music, politics) to express similar concepts.

5   References

[1]Chomsky 1957
[2]Jackendoff 1994
[3]Carnie 2001