deep structure and surface structure
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deep structure and surface structurethe distinction, made by CHOMSKY (1965) in his theory of TRANSFORMATIONAL GRAMMAR, between the meaning of the communication (deep structure) and the surface form in which it is expressed (surface structure). Thus, for example, the deep structure of a sentence may be ‘John gave the book to Jill’, while this may be expressed in the surface structure as ‘Jill received the book from John’, or ‘The book was given to Jill by John’. These grammatical changes are brought about by transformational grammar – the SYNTAX changes but the SEMANTICS does not.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000