TRANSFORMATIONAL GRAMMARS AGAIN.
SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT CORP SANTA MONICA CALIF
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The note presents some criticisms of Chomskys theory of Transformational Grammar, and in particular of his most recent attempt to demarcate syntax from semantics by means of the distinction between selectional and subcategorization rules. I argue that, although there is a formal distinction between them, it in no way serves Chomskys. The standpoint of the paper is that semantic analysis and production is of a more fundamental nature than syntactic analysis as usually understood. It is argued that Chomskys system is an explication of meaningfulness if it is anything, and that his recent changes of view about semantics have made it difficult, if not impossible, for him to reject this view of his system. It is in part Chomskys changes of mind that have made it difficult to discern the real purpose of his system, and in part, too, his tendency to present his theory in two quite different ways at the same time both as an analytic device for examining and producing text, and also as an explication of the way in which humans produce, or ascribe structure to, their language. The paper also makes a brief suggestion as to what it would be like to have an explication of meaningfulness more adequate than Chomskys. Author