gen·er·a·tive / ˈjenərətiv; -ˌrātiv;/ • adj. of or relating to reproduction. ∎ able to produce: the generative power of the life force. ∎ Linguistics applying principles of generative grammar.
GENERATIVE. A term borrowed in the 1960s from mathematics into LINGUISTICS by Noam CHOMSKY. If a GRAMMAR is generative, it accounts for or specifies the membership of the set of grammatical sentences in the language concerned by defining the precise rules for membership of the set. The use of the verb generate in this sense. (The grammar will generate the following set of sentences) is distinct from its general sense ‘produce’.
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