Definition of deep structure in English:

Share this entry

deep structure

Pronunciation: /ˈdēp ˌstrək(t)SHər/

noun

(In generative grammar) the abstract representation of the syntactic structure of a sentence. Contrasted with surface structure.
Example sentences
  • The theory postulates that the two sentences have the same order in deep structure, but the question transformation changes the order to that in surface structure.
  • Chomsky's initial proposals, in Syntactic Structures and Aspects, had distinguished between the surface structure of a sentence and the deep structure, from which the surface structure is derived by transformations.
  • This would have to be the mythical deep structure of linguistics.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: deep struc·ture

Share this entry
 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.