surface structure

noun Linguistics. (in transformational-generative grammar)
  1. a structural representation of the final syntactic form of a sentence, as it exists after the transformational component has modified a deep structure.Compare deep structure.
  2. the string of words that is actually produced.

Origin of surface structure

First recorded in 1960–65
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for surface structure

surface structure

noun
  1. generative grammar a representation of a string of words or morphemes as they occur in a sentence, together with labels and brackets that represent syntactic structureCompare deep structure
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