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In the field of linguistics, specifically in syntax, surface structure (abbreviated 'SS') refers to the mental representation of a linguistic expression, derived from deep structure by transformational rules.
Surface structure is an abstract syntactic representation of an utterance in the mind of the speaker, in which the elements of the sentence, having undergone transformation from deep structure, are represented structurally in the same linear order in which they will be pronounced after they pass through phonetic form. Phonetic form (PF) and logical form (LF) are derived from surface structure.