Dictionary.com

generative grammar

Save This Word!

noun Linguistics.
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.
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of generative grammar

First recorded in 1955–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use generative grammar in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for generative grammar

generative grammar

noun
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
FEEDBACK