Summary on Noam Chomsky's generative grammar

  • There are three elements in Generative Grammar 
  1. Sentences
  2. Competence 
  3. Component 

A . Sentences
There are a list of well-formed sentences in language but the list is too long -- infinite
There are two principles in  

  • Creativity :
    (Native speaker should be capable to create NEW sentences) 
    Language should not only be learnt by imitation, but by the principles of abstraction.
    This principle is innate (in-born)
  • Recursion / Iteration  
    Allow construction that involve repetitive occurrence of elements

 

B. Competence
1. Some sentences are grammatically correct:
e.g. The table saw the woman
The sentence is grammatically correct but doesn't make sense

2. Some are ungrammatical (something missing)
e.g. John put the car (e.g. location is missing)

3. Some are ungrammatical (Wrong word order)
e.g. Put John in the garage the car 

C. Components
1. PS- Phase Structure component
   Rule is needed
   Syntactic tree - rules system phrase structure

2. Lexicon 

 

Deep Structure and Surface Structure

Same "big" structure with different surface structures
Same idea can be explained in different ways

e.g. You pushes the chair  -> The chair is pushed by you.