- generative grammar
Ling.1. a linguistic theory that attempts to describe the tacit knowledge that a native speaker has of a language by establishing a set of explicit, formalized rules that specify or generate all the possible grammatical sentences of a language, while excluding all unacceptable sentences. Cf. transformational grammar.2. a set of such rules.[1955-60]
* * *Finite set of formal rules that will produce all the grammatical sentences of a language.The idea of a generative grammar was first definitively articulated by Noam Chomsky in Syntactic Structures (1957). The generative grammarian's task is ideally not just to define the interrelation of elements in a particular language, but also to characterize universal grammarthat is, the set of rules and principles intrinsic to all natural languages, which are thought to be an innate endowment of the human intellect. See also grammar, syntax.
* * *a precisely formulated set of rules whose output is all (and only) the sentences of a language—i.e., of the language that it generates. There are many different kinds of generative grammar, including transformational grammar as developed by Noam Chomsky from the mid-1950s. Linguists disagree as to which, if any, of these different kinds of generative grammar will serve as the best model for the description of natural languages.Generative grammars do not merely distinguish the grammatical sentence of a language from ungrammatical sequences of words of the same language; they also provide a structural description, or syntactic analysis, for each of the grammatical sentences. The structural descriptions provided by a generative grammar are comparable with, but more precisely formulated than, the analyses that result from the traditional practice of parsing sentences in terms of the parts of speech.
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generative grammar — ☆ generative grammar n. Linguis. a system of linguistic analysis consisting of a limited, unchanging set of rules employing a list of symbols and words to generate or describe every possible sentence in a language: cf. TRANSFORMATIONAL… … English World dictionary
generative grammar — noun count or uncount LINGUISTICS a type of grammar based on a set of rules that can be used to produce all the sentences possible in a language … Usage of the words and phrases in modern English
Generative grammar — In theoretical linguistics, 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… … Wikipedia
generative grammar — UK / US noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms generative grammar : singular generative grammar plural generative grammars linguistics a type of grammar based on a set of rules that can be used to produce all the sentences possible in a language … English dictionary
generative grammar — The theory of language structures first proposed in Chomsky s Syntactic Structures (1957). Just as physics studies the forms of physically possible processes, so linguistics should study the form of possible human languages. This would define the … Philosophy dictionary
generative grammar — noun (linguistics) a type of grammar that describes syntax in terms of a set of logical rules that can generate all and only the infinite number of grammatical sentences in a language and assigns them all the correct structural description •… … Useful english dictionary
generative grammar — noun Date: 1959 1. a description in the form of a set of rules for producing the grammatical sentences of a language 2. transformational grammar … New Collegiate Dictionary
generative grammar — noun grammar which describes a language in terms of a set of logical rules whereby the infinite number of possible sentences of that language can be generated … English new terms dictionary
generative grammar — noun (C, U) the description of a language using rules that produce all the sentences of the language that are correct according to the rules of grammar … Longman dictionary of contemporary English
generative grammar — gen′erative gram′mar n. 1) ling. a linguistic theory that attempts to describe the tacit knowledge a native speaker has of a language by establishing a set of formal rules that generate all the possible grammatical sentences of a language, while… … From formal English to slang