(1) A technique used in phonetics whereby aspiring practitioners of the subject are trained to control the use of their vocal organs
(2) A term used in the linguistic theory of transformational generative grammar, referring to language being seen as a set of specific utterances produced by native speakers
It is also one of the two elements in Chomsky's performance–competence distinction, which relates to language production (parole), with an emphasis upon how this is different from competence, or the mental knowledge of language itself. Linguistic performance does not simply reflect the intrinsic sound-meaning connections established by the system of linguistic rules. It involves many other factors, such as extra-linguistic beliefs concerning the speaker and the situation; these play a fundamental role in determining how speech is produced, identified and understood. Furthermore, it is governed by principles of cognitive structure such as memory limitations, distractions, shifts of attention and interest, and errors (random or characteristic) that are technically not considered to be aspects of language.