chapter  I
Pages 6

The aim of a syntactic study of a language is to discover the regu­

larities and generalizations underlying the sentence structure of that

language as one step in the process of explaining how the speaker of a

natural language is able to produce and understand a potentially infinite

set of sentences he has never produced or heard before. The transfor­

mational approach to syntax, first introduced by Zellig Harris^ and

2 greatly expanded and enriched by Noam Chomsky , is based on the obser­

vation that most sentences are best described as the result of applying

various operations such as substitutions, deletions, and adjunctions to

one or more simpler sentences. The simple sentences are described by

phrase structure rules, or immediate constituent analysis, which were at

one time proposed as the best way to describe the entire structure of

all sentences; convincing arguments have been adduced to show that phrase

1. "Co-occurrence and transformation in linguistic structure'1, Language, 33, No. 3 (July-September 1957), 283-340. Reprinted in Jerry A. Fodor & Jerrold J. Katz, The Structure of Language; Readings in the Philosophy of Language (Englewood Cliffs: PrenticeHall, Inc., 1964), pp. 155-210.