Thursday, July 21, 2011

Defn of acceptability

A term from Chomsky (1965) for the acceptability of expressions in natural languages reflecting the view of the participant in communication, not the grammarian (grammaticality). The question of acceptability concerns performance whereas grammaticality is an issue of competence ( competence vs performance)
Acceptability is a relative term, i.e. an expression is deemed more or less acceptable according to the context. 

There are various criteria for determining non-acceptability: (
a) ungrammaticality; 
(b) complex sentence structure involving repeated encapsulating or self-embedding constructions; 
(c) semantic contradiction
(d) untruth in an expression as it relates to a situation; 
(e) an expression that cannot be interpreted because of missing reference or a differing knowledge of the world;
f) stylistic incompatibility.

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