- (in transformational-generative grammar) the underlying semantic or syntactic representation of a sentence, from which the surface structure may be derived.
Compare surface structure.
Origin of deep structure
An Americanism dating back to 1960–65
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- 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