The Comparison and Contrast Between Chomsky Transformational-Generative Linguistics and Halliday Systemic Functional Linguistics

1772 words 8 pages
The Comparison and Contrast Between Chomsky Transformational-Generative Linguistics and Halliday Systemic Functional Linguistics Abstract As two of cornerstones constructing the modern linguistic theories, the transformational generative linguistics represented by Noam Chomsky and the systemic functional linguistics featured by Michael Halliday have always been deemed as two most influential and pivotal roles in the modern linguistic academic fields. However, they distinct each other in many respects while virtually making the same impacts. Based on this, this paper probes into discussing the comparison and contrast between these two linguistics systems.

Key words: transformational, functional, linguistics, comparison
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Simply to illustrate this point of view, TG grammar believes that language is innate: SF grammar believes that it is learned. TG grammar believes that all human beings possess a grammatical program hardwired into the brain: SF grammar does not – he believes that grammar mirrors function is mastered through experience. TG grammar believes in ‘Universal Grammar’: SF grammar does not. TG grammar believes that language exists separately from experience: SF grammar believes that language only develops through experience of other people and the world around us. TG grammar is biology oriented: SF grammar is towards sociology. More specifically, TG grammar believes that we are born with the required mental capacities. Thus a rigorously formal approach to the description of language leads us towards neurology and genetics. According to Chomsky, language is the preliminary state of language faculty existing in human mind and brain and a mental organ. It is a natural and innate object just like human heart or lung. Structuralists think children learn language through “stimulus and response”. Different from Chomsky’s views about the nature of language, Halliday considered language should be taken sociology and must be studied in social context. The systemic functional linguistics is a study of relevant features in the culture and society that form the context in which language is used, and which are at the


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