Generative linguistics is the cover term for the formalist linguistic theories that were developed by Noam A. Chomsky, or inspired by his writings. The Minimalist Program, Government and Binding theory and Principles and Parameters are among its best-known representatives. Generative linguistics is the natural opposite of structural-functional theories of language; its members share a belief in mentalism as well as in the autonomy of syntax.
The term could also be applied in a more neutral sense, however, to classify theories that prominently feature a formalised algorithm to "generate" linguistic structures. In that sense, a number of functionalist theories can also be considered generative, in particular Role and Reference Grammar and Functional Grammar.
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