noun (used with a singular verb) Linguistics.
a theory of generative grammar holding that the deep structure of a sentence is equivalent to its semantic representation, from which the surface structure can then be derived using only one set of rules that relate underlying meaning and surface form rather than separate sets of semantic and syntactic rules.
Foxy, Catty, Fishy: Are These Traits For Animals Or Humans?Catty It seems horribly unfair to adorable cats that catty is a human descriptor meaning “devious or spiteful” (and usually in reference to female behavior). What gives? The word cat has been around since the year 700. But then, in the Middle Ages, cat became one of the many offensive terms against women and was slang for “prostitute.” The association might have been made because …
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British Dictionary definitions for generative semantics
(functioning as singular) a school of semantic theory based on the doctrine that syntactic and semantic structure are of the same formal nature and that there is a single system of rules that relates surface structure to meaningCompare interpretive semantics
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