Gramatyka generatywna Noama Chomsky’ego a lingwistyka stosowana
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The paper discusses recent developments in the Government-Binding model of generative grammar proposed by N. Chomsky, concentrating on the issue of Universal Grammar. Chomsky asks three questions about the status of knowledge of language: (1) What constitutes knowledge of language? (2) How is knowledge of language acquired? (3) How is knowledge of language put to use? To know a language is to be in a specific mental state, knowledge of language is acquired through a rich and structured system of innate knowledge. This innate knowledge consists of highly modular systems of principles, which constitute Universal Grammar (UG). Within the Government-Binding framework UG is formalized as the lexicon and three levels of representation. Seven modules (subsystems of principles) are responsible for adequate derivations of well-formed sentences. UG is responsible for the acquisition of language (LI); however, from the point of second language (L2) acquisition theory it is important to find out to what degree UG operates in the acquisition of L2. Recent inquiries into various phonological, morphological, syntactic and semantic processes suggest that UG may be crucial in L2 acquisition though almost certainly it is not the only mechanism involved. Further studies dealing with principles and parameters across different languages are required to give a more complete picture of the relationship between UG and L2 acquisition. Results of such studies should be important and illuminating for both the theory of L2 acquisition and for the theory of generative grammar. The paper provides an overview of recent publications devoted to Chomsky’s theory and discusses some of the more specific issues in the context of applied linguistics.