Transformational-generative grammarOriginally expounded by Noam Chomsky, his students, and colleagues, transformational-generative grammar (TGG) is an attempt to define the grammatical rules underlying all of the surface expression of language. Some of these rules are quite simple, such as the Head Initial/Final rules:
- Head Initial means that the Head of a phrase before its argument.
- Head Final means that the Head of a phrase occurs after its argument.
Other rules are more complex, such as the so-called "Wh-Question Formation Rule" for English, which can be summarized as:
1. Begin with a simple declarative, with a missing item:
While Chomsky and others have abandoned much of traditional TGG (the mechanisms described in the example above have been out of date since the late 1960s), it continues to have useful applications in syntactic analysis and the study of children's language acquisition.