Transformational-Generative Grammar in Language Study
Chomsky defines language as a set of rules or principles and believes that the aim of linguistics is to produce a generative grammar which captures the tactic knowledge of the native speaker of his language.
Phrase structure rules is one set of the important transformational-generative rules. It restricted the constitutes of a sentence to produce well-formed and ill-formed sentences. Then the ill- formed sentences can be eliminated by subcategorization which can describe the grammatical and semantic property of the word in the phrase.
Based on this scientific and systematic theory, testees who take the banked cloze can follow the rules to select appropriate words to fill the blanks through determining the part of speech and subcategorizing of the words. The phrase structure rules can be widely used in taking the banked cloze testing as strategy. Key words: TG-grammar;phrase structure rule;subcategory;banked cloze testing I.
Theoretical basis 1. 1 The definition of TG-grammar Noam Chomsky tried to open up a new route when he found that classification of structural elements of language according to distribution and substitution had its limitation.
From this practice Chomsky gradually established Transformational- Generative (TG) Grammar. The publication of his Syntactic Structures (1957) marked the beginning of the Chomsky Revolution. With the Publication of Syntactic Structures,Noam Chomsky, who was a young American linguist then,aroused a world-wide interest among scientists,especially linguists.
His biographer said that his theories, right or wrong, had great significance and was so influential that no linguists could overlook them if they wanted to keep pace with the development of contemporary linguistics.
And at the same time, quite a few people did not quite agree with him. Chomsky’s TG-grammar differs from the structural grammar in a number of ways: (1) rationalism; (2) innateness; (3) deductive methodology; (4) emphasis on interpretation; (5) formalization; (6) emphasis on linguistic competence; (7) strong generative powers; (8) emphasis on linguistic universals. First, Chomsky defines language as a set of rules or principles. Second, Chomsky believes that the aim of linguistics is to produce a generative grammar which captures the tactic knowledge of the native speaker of his language.
This concerns the question of learning theory and the question of linguistic universals. What’s more, Chomsky’s methodology is hypothesis-deductive, which operates at two levels: (a) the linguist formulates a hypothesis about language structure — a general linguistic theory; this is tested by grammars for particular languages, and (b) each such grammar is a hypothesis on the general linguistic theory. Finally, Chomsky follows rationalism in philosophy and mentalism in psychology. The term Transformational Generative Grammar is used to refer to Noam Chomsky’s theories about syntax.