Example of problem of contextual appropriateness of certain utterances:

One day I was driving in the car, with my son, who was about 9 years old, sitting behind me, and kicking the back of the seat. I said to him,

This answer, obviously learned from his friend Ben, whose parents grew up in rural Louisiana, was inappropriate for a number of reasons:

My son had learned this utterance (and its pronunciation) from his friend Ben, but had not learned how to use it appropriately. What he probably wanted to do was produce an answer to my imperative sentence, one that would make me stop trying to impose my will on his behavior. He chose to give a `negative' answer that did not meet his needs, or in fact the criteria for an appropriate, contextually grammatical answer. As a 9 year-old grade-schooler, he was clearly beyond the age of producing `ungrammatical' sentences, yet he produced an answer that was inappropriate by two different measures. Obviously, Chomsky's theories can not account for this kind of lack of competence, known in the sociolinguistic literature as communicative competence.