|Surface structure, linguistics: surface structure refers to the construction of a sentence, as it is directly accessible. For example, the division of a sentence into noun phrase (NP) and verbal phrase (VP) is visible in the surface structure. In contrast, the depth structure can only be obtained through analysis. See also depth structure, transformational grammar, universal grammar.|
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Syntactic surface structure/Millikan: it may be that two sentence tokens may have the same form or sound and contain the same words, and yet still have different surface structures!
E.g. "he cooked the meat dry"
Question: This was a reproduction of the model
"He ate the chicken raw" or the model
"He washed the dishes clean". ((s) adjective or adverb?).
Solution: depends on the story.
Formal: Elements of different families have different surface structures.
This is about function, not about sound or form.
Word Equality/Identity/Millikan: but it is not clear what is considered "again the same word". It cannot be about sound or form, but about history and belonging to families.
R. G. Millikan
Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories: New Foundations for Realism Cambridge 1987