Saturday, January 26, 2013




1.      Introduction
“Universal Grammar” or UG has been a popular term since the early 1980s, or more precisely since the publication since publication of Chomsky’s (1981) Lectures on Government and Binding. Despite its popularity, however, the term has met diverse reactions.
2.      Universal Grammar in A Chronological Perspective
One important key word in the generative enterprise is “theory”, and in Chomskyan Linguistic today, UG holds the center of generative theory. Here the writer will describe  how and explain why UG came into existence, and point out each phase in which UG has undergone internal changes as generative theory has undergone revision and formulation.
Toward Universal Principle
Chomskyan Revolution (1957), Chomsky published his monumental classic about Syntactic structures.  This ideas still used until now that had four important ways in its historical background.
First, Syntax moves to the center stage of linguistic.
Second, introduction of the transformational component to syntactic description is means to overcome the weaknesses of the immediate constituent analysis. It’s about deep structure and surface structure. 
Third, linguistic meaning or semantics. Sometimes, there are many important correlation between semantic and syntax. But in other hand, syntax may exist without semantics.
The last, syntactic structure are seminal ideas ready to lead up to become vocabulary of concepts in the Chomskyan.
Universal and Particular Grammar
There are two basic assumptions in Generative Grammar.
First, based on Chomsky (1972: 56) the essential feature of language is not its structure, but its creative use. Mean the creativity between speaker and hearer in communications. They can produce new sentence in their communication that they will get from stimulus-response. Then creative its self means that natural, free from stimulus, create, and innovative.   
Second, language as a mental or psychological fact. It is represented by linguistic competence. It is about generative process that involves words, phrase, and sentences, like De Saussure’s theory.

PS Rules

Deep Structure                                        Semantic Interpretation


Surface Structure                                      Phonetic Interpretation

LAD as Universal Grammar
Universal grammar is another name for the LAD in state zero, as linguistic competence is another name for a particular grammar. Generative grammar is taking UG as the primary goal of linguistic theory, has move deeper mentalism and higher abstraction, maintaining the belief that language is nothing but mental grammar.
3.      Critiques of Universal Grammar
Critiques of UG come from the outside and inside of the theory. External critiques come from the study of language in sociocultural context, more specifically from sociolinguistic. Internal critiques question whether or not UG principle and parameters are empirically justifiable.
For sociolinguists, language is the first and foremost a social construct only secondarily a mental fact. Utterances that are grammatically correct and pragmatically as well as sociolinguistically appropriate. The descriptive study of the effect of any and all aspects of society, including cultural norms, expectations, and context, on the way language is used, and the effects of language use on society. The focus of sociolinguistics is the effect of the society on the language. Sociolinguistics overlaps to a considerable degree with pragmatics

Internal Critiques of Universal Grammar
Structure Dependency
It is concerned with their hierarchical structure, commonly revealed in syntactic analysis by means of tree diagrams. It is very universal principle because it applies universal grammar across languages.
Binding Theory
it describes the conditions on the structural relations between nouns. The concerned with tree types of nouns; an anaphors (eg. himself, herself, themselves), Pronouns. (he, she, it, his, one, them, him etc), and R-expressions (proper names, common nouns). These NPs are semantically distinct, but they also have different syntactic distributions.
Pro-drop (Null Subject) Parameter
The terms of pro-drop means dropping or deleting the subject pronoun from sentence. The pro-drop parameter is a UG parameter of binary values: one allowing and the other disallowing subject deleting from a declarative sentence if the subject is a pronounce. In pro-drop parameter, languages fall into two different categories (+) pro-drop languages such as Italian and Spanish, next (-) pro-drop languages such as English and French.

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