surface structure
Definition - (Aka s-structure)

A Chomskyan term for the syntactic structures that we use to think our thoughts and communicate with others.

They are generated from deep structure syntactic items by transformations.

For example, the sentences Pat loves Chris and Chris is loved by Pat are surface structure sentences that mean roughly the same thing. Chomsky accounts for this similarity by positing that these two sentences are distinct surface forms derived via transformations of a common deep structure item.

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