Definition of transformational grammar in US English:

transformational grammar


  • A type of grammar that describes a language in terms of transformations applied to an underlying deep structure in order to generate the surface structure of sentences that can actually occur.

    • ‘Chomsky originated such concepts as transformational-generative grammar, transformational grammar, and generative grammar.’
    • ‘The measure of ‘idea density’ is footnoted to a 1973 paper influenced by early transformational grammar: Kintsch, W. & J. Keenan.’
    • ‘In transformational grammar, when parts of a sentence are moved around, an inaudible, invisible trace may be left behind in the original position of the moved constituent.’
    • ‘In this paper we cast the long-standing debate in transformational grammar over movement derivations vs. well-formedness conditions on chains in a new light.’


transformational grammar