I'm still confused about the difference between these two concepts. Could you explain it with some examples? Thank you in advance!:)

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    This question is broad enough to be answered in textbook chapters or even whole books, not a few sentences in a Stack Exchange post. Which textbook are you using for your class? Have you checked there? If yes, what specifically are you unsure about? – lemontree Oct 21 '20 at 11:47
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    An answer to the question can be found in e.g. H. de Svart "Introduction to natural language semantics" ch. 5, J. Lyons "Linguistic semantics" ch. 7.3, or E. Zimmermann & W. Sternefeld "Introduction to semantics" ch. 3.4. – lemontree Oct 21 '20 at 18:10
  • @lemontree♦ Thank you for your kind reply! Actually I'm reading Chapter 4 Case of HNG. Understanding Minimalism, but it's too overwhelming to me. I'll check out what you recommended. I'm really appreciative! :) – ronghe Oct 27 '20 at 3:25
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    If you want to come more from the syntactic side, you could also give S. Müller "Grammatical Theory" ch. 3.1.3, A. Carnie "Sytax: A Generative Introduction" ch. 12 .2-12.3, L. Haegman "Introduction to Government and Binding Theory" ch. 9 or A. Radford et. al. "Linguistics: An Introduction" ch. 23 a try. – lemontree Oct 27 '20 at 11:26
  • @lemontree♦ That's so considerate of you! Thank you very much! :) – ronghe Oct 27 '20 at 13:38

They are special terminology from the Y model.

   | (overt movement)
 / | (covert movement)

Today it is more common to draw a kind of T model.

LF __SO__ PF

No Deep Structure (DS) in the T model. Surface Structure is nowadays called Spell-out and is rather a point in the derivation (a point in time) than a representational level. There is "before" and "after Spell-out" rather than "at Surface Structure".

  • Sorry I forgot to add examples for you. Quantifier raising for example can be analyzed as being the difference between what you hear (aka Surface Structure) and LF. – purlupar Oct 28 '20 at 1:59
  • Thank you so much for your kind reply!:) Now I get it! – ronghe Oct 30 '20 at 5:11
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    You're welcome -- see also this answer linguistics.stackexchange.com/a/6016/4904 about "base generation" -- very much related. – purlupar Oct 31 '20 at 2:25

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