chapter  21
Methodology: The three adequacies in grammatical studies
Pages 18

In his seminal work, Aspects of the Theory of Syntax (1965), 1 Noam Chomsky introduces a hierarchy of three levels of adequacy for theories of language in general and those of specifi c languages in particular, i.e., observational adequacy, descriptive adequacy, and explanatory adequacy. These levels constitute a taxonomy of linguistic studies. In this chapter, we will borrow these three terms and adopt them as the guiding principles in the study of Chinese grammar. The following is a discussion of what is meant by the three adequacies and how they can be achieved in the study of Chinese grammar.