Definition of deep structure in English:

deep structure

Syllabification: deep struc·ture


  • (In generative grammar) the abstract representation of the syntactic structure of a sentence. Contrasted with surface structure.
    More 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.

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