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  1. #1
    dtommy79's Avatar
    dtommy79 is offline Newbie
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    wh-transformation

    Hi,

    I have an exam question:

    (Chomsky) The Standard theory model: wh-transformation

    Could someone tell me what this is exactly? I can't find any good source for that.


    Any help is appreciated

  2. #2
    Soup's Avatar
    Soup is offline VIP Member
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    Re: wh-transformation

    It's actually called WH-movement (WH stands for why, what, when, where, who, and how) and it's the idea that an utterance has both a deep structure (what we can't see or hear but know intuitively) and a surface structure (what we can see or hear). For example,

    Surface Structure: Where is Max?
    Deep Structure: Max is where.

    To get from the surface structure, what we see/hear, to the deep structure, what we know intuitively, the subject and verb must be inverted, switch:

    Step 1
    Deep structure: Max is where
    Invert subject-verb: is Max where

    To get to the surface structure (Where is Max?), we start with the deep structure (Max is where) and move the WH-word (where) to the front of the sentence,

    Step 2
    Invert subject-verb: is Max where
    WH-movement: where is Max
    Surface structure: Where is Max?


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