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Transformational grammar
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In linguistics, a transformational grammar or transformational-generative grammar (TGG) is a generative grammar, especially of a natural language, that has been developed in the Chomskyan tradition of phrase structure grammars (as opposed to dependency grammars). Additionally, transformational grammar is the tradition that gives rise to specific transformational grammars. Much current research in transformational grammar is inspired by Chomsky's Minimalist Program.[1] Contents  [hide]  * 1 Deep structure and surface structure * 2 Development of basic concepts * 3 Innate linguistic knowledge * 4 Grammatical theories * 5 "I-Language" and "E-Language" * 6 Grammaticality * 7 Minimalism * 8 Mathematical representation * 9 Transformations * 10 See also * 11 References * 12 External links| -------------------------------------------------

[edit]Deep structure and surface structure
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In 1957, Noam Chomsky published Syntactic Structures, in which he developed the idea that each sentence in a language has two levels of representation — a deep structure and a surface structure.[2][3] The deep structure represented the core semantic relations of a sentence, and was mapped on to the surface structure (which followed the phonological form of the sentence very closely) via transformations. Chomsky believed there are considerable similarities between languages' deep structures, and that these structures reveal properties, common to all languages that surface structures conceal. However, this may not have been the central motivation for introducing deep structure. Transformations had been proposed prior to the development of deep structure as a means of increasing the mathematical and descriptive power of context-free grammars. Similarly, deep structure was devised largely for technical reasons relating to early semantic theory. Chomsky emphasizes the importance of modern formal mathematical devices in the development of grammatical theory: But the fundamental reason for [the] inadequacy of traditional grammars is a more technical one. Although it was well understood that linguistic processes are in some sense "creative," the technical devices for expressing a system of recursive processes were simply not available until much more recently. In fact, a real understanding of how a language can (in Humboldt's words) "make infinite use of finite means" has developed only within the last thirty years, in the course of studies in the foundations of mathematics. —Aspects of the Theory of Syntax

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[edit]Development of basic concepts
Though transformations continue to be important in Chomsky's current theories, he has now abandoned the original notion of Deep Structure and Surface Structure. Initially, two additional levels of representation were introduced (LF — Logical Form, and PF — Phonetic Form), and then in the 1990s Chomsky sketched out a new program of research known as Minimalism, in...
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