Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Transformational Grammar: is also called generative transformational grammar or generative grammar. It was originally developed by Noam Chomsky to explain the fact that speakers can form from a finite number of rules an immeasurably large number of sentences. See also universal grammar, language acquisition, grammar, syntax, sentences.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Item Summary Meta data
I 157
Rules/Grammar/Transformational Grammar/Chomsky/Lyons: Chomsky seems to reject this. In his opinion:
ChomskyVsGrammatical rules: Thesis: The grammatical structure of the language is determined ((s) not according to the above rules) and is "intuitively" (unconsciously) mastered by the native speaker. (ChomskyVsRules due to the consequence of "uncertainty of grammar"/ChomskyVsUncertainty of grammar).
Lyons: the differences here are exaggerated. Not all grammar is indefinite.
I 252
Transformational grammar/transformational/Lyons: any grammar that claims to provide an analysis of deep and surface structure is a transformational grammar.
I 252
Ambiguity/transformational/Gammar/Lyons: there are many more types here, in addition to the various parentheses.
Example amor dei: the love of God: a) from God, b) to God. Subjective or objective genitive.
I 253
Chomsky: famous example:
Flying planes can be dangerous
a) Planes can be dangerous
b) Flying can be dangerous.
Tradition: would explain this by the difference between participle and gerund:
Def Participle/Lyons: is a word derived from a verb and used as an adjective.
Def Gerund/Lyons: is a word derived from a verb and used as a noun.
Solution: a) Flying planes are dangerous
b) Flying planes is dangerous.
I 254
Lexeme/Lyons: a certain word (here in the abstract sense) can be verbal in a sentence and nominal in a transformationally related sentence. (Participle/Gerund).
Solution/Transformation/Lyons: then we can say that for example the syntagma Flying planes is derived by a rule that transforms the structure underlying the sentence Flying planes can be dangerous.
I 256
Subject/Object/Grammar/Transformational Grammar/Lyons: e.g. John eats the apples, John is eating: then The eating of the apples has an object meaning.
Problem: whether s also has a subject meaning depends on whether a sentence like The apples are eating can be generated. ((s) Grammatical, not semantic!).
Solution: whether it works then depends on whether the noun apple and the verb eat can be subclassified in the lexicon (by grammatical features) in such a way that the grammatical rules allow the assignment of a feature (e.g. inanimate) to a noun as subject of the verb class to which eat belongs to or not.
I 258
Active/Passive/Transformational Grammar/Chomsky/Lyons: although subject and object are reversed, identity or similarity prevails between the two corresponding sentences in the deep structure. But this is also the prerequisite that the interchange of subject and object can be determined at all.
Problem: there is disagreement as to whether there is dissimilation or not.
For example, assuming that the shooting of the hunters is not ambiguous.
Problem: then we would still require the grammar to establish relations
a) between the shooting of the hunters and the transitive theorem NP1 shoot the hunters as well as
b) between the hunters shooting and the intransitive the hunters shoot.
I 270
Transformational Grammar/Chomsky/Lyons: does not actually connect sentences, but the structures on which the sentences are based.
Conjunction transformation: connects sentences within a larger sentence. However, no sentence is subordinate but both retain their sentence status. The P-marker for the larger sentence will therefore contain two (or more) ∑ coordinated with each other at the topmost ∑

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

John Lyons
Semantics Cambridge, MA 1977

Lyons I
John Lyons
Introduction to Theoretical Lingustics, Cambridge/MA 1968
German Edition:
Einführung in die moderne Linguistik München 1995

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2020-03-29
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