1. ## 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. ## 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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