- Chomsky (1) (remove)
- Generative grammar (2001)
- Generative Grammar is the label of the most influential research program in linguistics and related fields in the second half of the 20. century. Initiated by a short book, Noam Chomsky's Syntactic Structures (1957), it became one of the driving forces among the disciplines jointly called the cognitive sciences. The term generative grammar refers to an explicit, formal characterization of the (largely implicit) knowledge determining the formal aspect of all kinds of language behavior. The program had a strong mentalist orientation right from the beginning, documented e.g. in a fundamental critique of Skinner's Verbal behavior (1957) by Chomsky (1959), arguing that behaviorist stimulus-response-theories could in no way account for the complexities of ordinary language use. The "Generative Enterprise", as the program was called in 1982, went through a number of stages, each of which was accompanied by discussions of specific problems and consequences within the narrower domain of linguistics as well as the wider range of related fields, such as ontogenetic development, psychology of language use, or biological evolution. Four stages of the Generative Enterprise can be marked off for expository purposes.