|Definition - Chomskyan terminology for the embedding of phrases within other phrases.|
Example - (1) John has a mother. She has a house. Her house is white. (Non-recursive)
(2) John's mother's house is white. (Recursive)
Example Usages -
1. "The essence of human language is, according to Chomsky, the ability of finite brains to produce what he considers to be infinite grammars. By this he means not only that there is no upper limit on what we can say, but that there is no upper limit on the number of sentences our language has, there's no upper limit on the size of any particular sentence. Chomsky has claimed that the fundamental tool that underlies all of this creativity of human language is recursion: the ability for one phrase to reoccur inside another phrase of the same type."
(Source: Recursion and Human Thought: Why the Piraha don't have numbers: A talk With Daniel L. Everett )
2. “In fact, we can embed one sentence inside another again and again without limit, if we are so inclined! This property of syntactic rules is known as recursion.”
(Source: Colin Phillips from Recursion: Core of Complexity or artifact of analysis by Derek Bickerton )