universal grammar


Definition of universal grammar

: the study of general principles believed to underlie the grammatical phenomena of all languages also : such principles viewed as part of an innate human capacity for learning a language

Examples of universal grammar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Until recently, the kids playing pickup games, lending their own vocabulary to a universal grammar, were calling themselves Messi. The New York Review of Books, "Joshua Jelly-Schapiro," 5 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'universal grammar.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of universal grammar

1751, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for universal grammar

The first known use of universal grammar was in 1751

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More from Merriam-Webster on universal grammar

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about universal grammar

Comments on universal grammar

What made you want to look up universal grammar? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to spread over or through

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