Sunday, November 13, 2011

Transformational Grammar

What is transformational Grammar? It generates only the well-formed or grammatically correct sentences of a language since it is meant to create the rules and principles which are in the mind or brain of a native speaker. These rules and principles are, by definition, about the language itself. Chomsky believed that grammar has recursive rules allowing one to generate grammatically correct sentences over and over. Our brain has a mechanism which can create language by following the language principles and grammar.

Transformational Process of the Syntactic Structures according to Chomsky’s Transformational Grammar can be best summarized by adding, deleting, moving, and substituting of words. These changes take place through specific rules, which are called Transformational Rules.

Generally, any sentence structure contains a noun phrase (NP) and a verb phrase (VP). For instance, the sentence “Vicki laughed.” ‘Vicki’ is a NP and ‘laughed’ is a VP. Also, the sentence could change to “The woman laughed.” ‘The woman’ is the NP and ‘laughed’ is the VP. People could extend the sentence to “Vicki who lives near me laughed.” In the previous sentence, “Vicki who lives near me” is the NP; “laughed” is the VP. Expanding the sentence, “Vicki who lives near me laughed loudly,” the NP consists of “Vicki who lives near me” and the VP is “laughed loudly.”

To explore Chomsky’s theory further, please visit the following link.

Searle, J. R. (1972). Chomsky's Revolution in Linguistics. Retrieved from Language Forums (2011). Deep Structure VS Surface Structure. Retrieved from

The third link provides more explanations on this similar topic. Retrieved from

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