Kinds of Syntactical Theories

Topics: Linguistics, Generative grammar, Syntax Pages: 10 (3294 words) Published: December 23, 2012
1. Transformational Generative Grammar
2. Constructional grammar
3. Communicative grammar


“Transformational Generative Grammar Theory” was presented byNoam Chomsky. This theory is about structure (Syntax) of sentences ina language. This theory tells us how syntax is formed and learned. Syntax:

The study and organization or arrangement of sentences in alanguage is called Syntax. T.G.G theory explains this arrangement and organization of sentences. It means how correct and well-formed sentences are madeor formed.First generation takes place and then transformation takes place. There are two main parts of this theory, which are as follows: * Generation or Generative Grammar

* Transformation or Transformational Grammar
1: Generation or Generative Grammar:
This part of T.G.G deals with the generation of sentences, i.e.,correct and well-formed sentences. For this some rules are necessaryfor the formation of correct sentences. Now Generation Grammar canbe defined as:“A particular type of grammar which would have a very explicitsystem of rules specifying what combinations of basic elements wouldresult in well-formed sentences.”It means that Generation Grammar is a set of basic principlesand explicit rules which deals with the formation of sentences. Qualities of Generative Grammar

Some basic qualities of generative grammar are given asunder; Quality 1:
By using these explicit rules we will form correct and well-formed sentences, not incorrect and ill-formed. Quality 2:
By using one structure or finite structures a number of orinfinite sentences can be produced. Quality 3:
Recursion or Recursive rule
Recursion is the capacity to be applied more than once ingenerating a structure.e.g.,“He is the man who caught the thief who stole the jewelry that Ibought yesterday”In this example relative clause is used more than once to create a longsentence. It means that we can create long sentences by Recursionrule. The same rule can be applied again and again to create moreand more sentences.NP + VPNP + VPAhmad thought Ali helped him Quality 4:Deep structure and Surface Structure

On the basis of Generative Grammar we are able todifferentiate between deep and surface structures. Surface Structure:
 The formal structure of a sentence as it actually occurs inspeech. It is the apparent structure of a sentence. Deep Structure
 The deep structure is a direct representation of the basicsemantic relations underlying a sentence. It is the underlying meaningof the sentence.Let’s take an example to understand the difference betweendeep and surface structures. i)I ate a banana.ii)A banana was eaten by me.

In this example i) is active voice and ii) is passive voice.Structures of the sentences are different but the meanings are same.In the above example there are two surface structures but one deepstructure or underlying meaning. It means that a sentence can havetwo or many surface structure but one deep structure.Now take another example;“The lady beat a man with an umbrella.”What we read is the surface structure of this sentence, butwhen we ponder on its meaning we feel ambiguity in getting itsmeaning. Whether it means that the lady is having an umbrella andshe is beating the man with it or that the lady is beating the man whois having an umbrella. This ambiguity leads to two different meaningsof one sentence. It means that a sentence can have on surfacestructure but more deep structures. Phrase Structure Rule:

Phase structure rules are used to describe a given language’ssyntax. This is accomplished by attempting to break language downinto its constituent parts namely Phrasal Categories and LexicalCategories. The former include the noun phrase (NP), verb phrase (VP)and prepositional phrase (PP). And the latter include noun (N), verb (V),adjective (Adj), adverb (Adv) and many others. These rules present the information of the tree-diagram in analternative...
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