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Ask-A-Linguist Message Details
|Subject:||Case Grammar vs Transformational Grammar|
|Question:||I heard that GTG by Noam Chomsky is already considered as an old theory, and some people said that that theory is wrong. It makes me think twice to use that theory for my thesis. How about case grammar? Is it true that this theory is better that Transformational grammar? And where can I find the references via online, because that theory is not really famous in my country and it is hard to find the books. Thank you.|
|Reply:||I wouldn't use any linguistic theory just for the sake of using a theory, I would only use it if I thought it helped in making sense of the data I was interested in; and if you decide that theory X is "wrong" and try to discover which theory is "right", I think you will face a lengthy quest! Really, it is like trying to chase a rainbow. With the two grammatical theories that you mention, it wouldn't be a question of choosing between them in terms of correct and incorrect, because it seems to me that they are about different things and don't really contradict each other. Case Grammar is fundamentally about how to identify the various roles which different nominal elements can play within a proposition. Transformational Grammar, and Chomsky's subsequent approaches to grammar, say little or nothing about that particular question. Depending on what language data you want to explore, Case Grammar might be suitable for you or it might be quite irrelevant. So far as publications on Case Grammar are concerned, the original article was by Charles Fillmore, "The case for case", and appeared in a book edited by E. Bach and R. T. Harms called, if I remember correctly, _Universals in Linguistic Theory_. There was a general textbook-type book just called _Case_, by B. Blake, which I seem to remember was fairly clear and sensible. Geoffrey Sampson|
|Reply From:||Geoffrey Richard Sampson click here to access email|