University of Hertfordshire

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The explanatory power of Chomsky's transformational generative grammar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • J. Singleton
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-431
Journal publication date1974
Publication statusPublished - 1974


One of the main difficulties in Chomsky's account of generative grammars
and linguistic theories is to determine what exactly these grammars and
theories explain. In some places Chomsky seems to be saying that they
explain how a set of sentences might be generated and in others that they
explain how these sentences are actually generated. On the whole his
earlier writings accord with this first view and it is not until his more
recent writings that a subtle change of emphasis inclines him to the second
view. Only this first view is justified and when this is realised a lot of
the contemporary discussion on questions of innateness will be rendered
groundless. [opening paragraph]


Original article can be found at: Copyright Mind Association. DOI: 10.1093/mind/LXXXIII.331.429 [Full text of this article is not available in the UHRA]

ID: 106609