Deep structure and surface structure (Chomsky)

1From Wikipedia.
Noam Chomsky, emeritus professor of linguistics at the M.I.T., developed the idea that each sentence in a language has two levels of representation - a deep structure and a surface structure. The deep structure was (more-or-less) a direct representation of the basic semantic relations underlying a sentence, and was mapped onto the surface structure (which followed the phonological form of the sentence very closely) via transformations.

Chomsky believed that there would be considerable similarities between the Deep Structures of different languages, and that these structures would reveal properties, common to all languages, which were concealed by their Surface Structures.

Really fashinating. Great Wikipedia.
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