Lexicalist hypothesis

Lexicalist hypothesis is a hypothesis, proposed by Noam Chomsky, in which he claims that syntactic transformations only can operate on syntactic constituents.[1] Lexicalist hypothesis is a response to generative semanticians who use transformations in the derivation of complex words.

There are two versions of lexicalist hypothesis: the weak version and the strong version. In weak version the transformations could not operate on the derivational words; and in strong version, the transformations could not operate on both derivational and inflectional words.

There are objections to the hypothesis such as distributed morphology.[2]

The Lexical Integrity Hypothesis is a subset of the Lexicalist Hypothesis.


  1. ^ Chomsky (1970)
  2. ^ Halle & Marantz (1993)


  • Chomsky, N. 1970. Remarks on Nominalization, in: Jacobs, R. and P. Rosenbaum (eds.) Readings in English Transformational Grammar, Blaisdell, Waltham, MA.
  • Halle, M., & Marantz, A. (1993). Distributed Morphology and the pieces of inflection. In H. K, & S. J. Keyser, The View from Building 20. Essays in Linguistics in Honour of Sylvain Bromberger (pp. 111-176). Cambridge: MIT Press.

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