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surface structure

noun, Linguistics, (in transformational-generative grammar)
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.
the string of words that is actually produced.
1960-65 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for surface structure
  • How active a catalyst is depends strongly on its morphology and surface structure.
British Dictionary definitions for surface structure

surface structure

(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 structure Compare deep 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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