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DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631207535.1997.x


A term introduced into linguistics by Noam C homsky (1965, p. 3) to refer to the knowledge that a native speaker has of a language. The term was contrasted with performance , the actual use of language in concrete situations. The distinction between competence and performance has been bitterly criticized, but the criticisms are groundless, since the distinction underlies virtually all work in linguistics, Chomskyan or otherwise. Recent work such as Chomsky (1986) uses other terms such as “S ystem of knowledge” or “l-language” instead of competence. A wider notion of communicative competence , proposed by Dell Hymes (1972), has been influential in applied linguistics. See also C homsky , N oam ; G enerative grammar . 1965 : Aspects of the Theory of Syntax . 1986 : Knowledge of Language . ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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