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deep structure

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noun Linguistics.
(in transformational-generative grammar) the underlying semantic or syntactic representation of a sentence, from which the surface structure may be derived.

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Origin of deep structure

An Americanism dating back to 1960–65
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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British Dictionary definitions for deep structure

deep structure

noun
generative grammar a representation of a sentence at a level where logical or grammatical relations are made explicit, before transformational rules have been appliedCompare surface structure
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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