Conditions on Transformations

"Conditions on Transformations" is an article on linguistics by Noam Chomsky, published in 1973.[1] In it, Chomsky attempted to formulate constraints on transformational rules used in Transformational Generative Grammar (TGG), a new kind of syntactic theory that Chomsky first proposed in the 1950s. These constraints, or "conditions", helped decrease the number of possible generative grammars, with a goal to account for the process of language acquisition in children.

Chomsky's attempt to greatly constrain the power of transformational rules found a common ground with a new generation of generative linguists in Europe, as evidenced by the quote below:[2]


  1. Chomsky 1973
  2. The GLOW manifesto Archived 2009-07-06 at the Wayback Machine


  • Chomsky, Noam (1973), "Conditions on Transformations", in Anderson and Kiparsky (ed.), A Festschrift for Morris Halle, New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, pp. 232–286

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