Levels of adequacy: observational, descriptive, explanatory.

Green, Melanie (2006) Levels of adequacy: observational, descriptive, explanatory. In: Brown, Keith (ed.) Encyclopedia of Language & Linguistics (Second Edition). Elsevier, Oxford, Vol. 7: 49 - 51. ISBN 9780080442990

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Levels of adequacy are design criteria that have played a central role in the transformational generative grammar model since its inception in the 1950s. According to Chomsky, an adequate model of language not only must state what combinations of expressions do and do not give rise to grammatical sentences (observational adequacy) but must also account for the knowledge system underlying the intuitions of the native speaker (descriptive adequacy) and explain how such knowledge is acquired (explanatory adequacy). The tension between the goals of descriptive and explanatory adequacy has led to important developments in the Chomskyan model over the past half century.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: adequacy; Chomsky; competence; descriptive; economy; E-language; empiricist; explanatory; generative; I-language; mentalist; Minimalist; modular; observational; performance; rationalist
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Depositing User: Melanie Green
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:30
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2021 07:52
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/26257
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