Substantive universal

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In generative grammar, the term substantive universal has been used for specific elements of the grammar that are claimed to occur in all grammars. Substantive universals are often contrasted with formal universals.

Examples are features (such as the distinctive features of phonology, as listed in Chomsky & Halle 1968), categories (such as noun, verb, adjective, as in Baker 2003), or even rules (such as passivization, in relational grammar).

See also


Chomsky & Halle 1968 Baker 2003

Other languages

German substanzielles Universale