Stratificational Grammar

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Stratificational grammar -- called stratificational because one of its chief features is its treatment of linguistic structure as comprising several structural layers or strata -- aims to provide for any language an explicit description of a part of the connection between meaning and sound, a grammar consisting of a realizational portion which provides the direct link between any given configuration in the area of meaning and a corresponding configuration in the area of articulation/audition; tactic patterns in which the signals of the communication process pass through coding filters that restructure them; alternation patterns -- of which there are usually two, an upper and a lower, associated with each tactic pattern -- made up of various choice and merger points in the connections; and below each lower alternation pattern a sign pattern, which specifies the constituent segments at that level.

Related Terms

  • neurocognitive linguistics
  • relational network grammar


  • Christie Jr, William M. 1977. A Stratificational View of Linguistic Change. Lake Bluff IL: Jupiter Press.
  • Lamb, Sydney M. 1966. Outline of Stratificational Grammar. Washington DC: Georgetown University Press.