a linguistic theory that attempts to describe the tacit knowledge that a native speaker has of a language by establishing a set of explicit, formalized rules that specify or generate all the possible grammatical sentences of a language, while excluding all unacceptable sentences.Compare transformational grammar.
a set of such rules.
THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?
Did you ever collect all those state quarters? Put them to good use on this quiz about curious state monikers and the facts around them.
Question 1 of 8
Mississippi’s nickname comes from the magnificent trees that grow there. What is it?
Origin of generative grammar
First recorded in 1955–60
Words nearby generative grammar
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for generative grammar
a description of a language in terms of explicit rules that ideally generate all and only the grammatical sentences of the languageCompare transformational grammar
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012