The transformational grammar was a theory of how grammatical knowledge is represented and processed in the brain. Developed by Noam Chomsky in the1960's, the transformational grammar consisted of:|
Or take the sentence "Who will John see." This corresponds to its surface structure. According to the transformational grammar, we form this sentence by unconsciously applying transformation rules to the underlying deep structure given in the phrase structure tree of the form "John will see who." In this particular case, the transformation rule applied is termed "Wh-movement."*
The transformational grammar formed the basis for many subsequent theories of human grammatical knowledge. Since Chomsky's original presentation, many different theories have emerged. Although current theories differ significantly from the original, the notion of a transformation remains a central element in most models.