In linguistics, X-bar theory is a model of phrase-structure grammar and a theory of syntactic category formation that was first proposed by Noam Chomsky in 1970 and further developed by Ray Jackendoff (1974, 1977a, 1977b), along the lines of the theory of generative grammar put forth in the 1950s by Chomsky. It attempts to capture the structure of phrasal categories with a single uniform structure called the X-bar schema, basing itself on the assumption that any phrase in natural language is an XP (X phrase) that is headed by a given syntactic category X. It played a significant role in resolving issues that phrase structure rules had, representative of which is the proliferation of grammatical rules, which is against the thesis of generative grammar.
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