As Chomsky has shown (1965:22), the set of sentences S1
|(1)||John is pouring water from a pitcher.
|(2)||*||John is pouring water from a picture.|
Sentence (2) is clearly ungrammatical and as such could not be uttered by an idealized speaker-
Recent experiments2 have shown that sentences such as (2) are prevented, by a blocking transformation, from entering the phonological component of the grammar. That is, after passing through the semantic component and being found ungrammatical because of the well-
This is accomplished by the prefixing of an asterisk to the formative dominated by the leftmost node of sentences like (2) (see Figure 1). A universal convention, already needed in other parts of the grammar (de Asterisco 1588.xvii), states that no sentence whose leftmost formative is immediately preceded by an asterisk can be pronounced; it must either be suppressed or enter the graphological component and appear in an article about linguistics. The existence of this component of grammars has been suspected for some time (see, e.g. Kateb 1343:0), but until the discovery of the blocking transformation, empirical evidence for its existence was lacking, and it was not clear how sentences such as (2) could be generated at all.3
|1||2||3||4||5||6||→ *1 2 3 4 5 6|
1The speaker is thus able to mean what he says.
2In a double-
3This work was supported in part by Grant No. 913-
Chomsky, Alfred E. 1965. Aspects of the What? Granuloma 913.22-22
de Asterisco, Raul. 1588. Gramática asteriscana, o como Drake no ha jugado justamente. Carne Orgulloso 42.xv-xviii
Kateb, Nevisandeh. 1343. Newishtan-
Wassermahlerstromer, Graf Kitschi. 1892. Wie giesst man einem Bild aus? Wildes Fleisch 12.49-2234.
|The Anguish Lenglage II—Tom Ernst|
|On Some Acoustic Correlates of Isoglossy—Robert L. Rankin|
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