Transformation Rules

Akmajian and Henry (1975: 236-237)  state that “Transformation means preserving of two surface structures derive from exactly the same underlying structure and if their derivations differ only in that an optional transformation has applied in one but not the other, than they must have the same meaning”.

Elgin (1973:294), in her study believes that linguist is constructing grammar to identify the meaning of surface structure from the deep structure. Every human being who is native speaker of a language is walking around with just such a grammar in his head. There are no linguists have yet succeeded in achieving the same perfection and completeness but that is the goal toward their work. (Elgin, 1973: 54)  states that “When a deep structure undergoes a rule (or rules) and the end result is a sequence that can be spoken, the rule has transformed the sequence causes no transformational rule can ever be allowed to change meaning”

Jacobs and Rosenbaum (1968: 19), in their study say that a transformation is a particular Processes of alteration by which one sentence structure is converted into another sentence structure without any change in the meaning. The changing of deep structure to surface structure is via transformation

(Jacobs and Rosenbaum 1968:18) states, “The operation is called elementary transformation. The elementary consists of adjunction, substitution, and deletion”

Adjunction is a process by which one constituent is attached to another to form a larger constituent of the same type. For example; we could say that in a sentence like “He shouldn’t go”, the particle “not” can be adjoined to the auxiliary should to form the negative auxiliary “shouldn’t”.

Substitution is technique used to determine an expression which can be substituted using another expression in phrases or sentences like that in which it occurs by another expression. For example, “John speaks clearer than you”…………”John speaks more clearly”.

There are five kinds of deletion, those are:

a. Noun Phrase Deletion
In the noun phrase deletion, the noun in the sentence gets the Processes of deletion, for example:
Igor can play the violin, and that cat can play the violin too………Igor can play the violin, and that cat can too “Igor can play the violin, and that cat can play the violin too “becomes “Igor can play the violin, and that cat can too”. It is obvious that the violin is deleted since “the violin” has become as the object of “can”.

b. Verb Phrase Deletion
In the verb phrase deletion, the constituent that experiences a deletion is a verb phrase. The verb phrase deletion is also called an identical verb phrase deletion, for example:
“the papers refused to report the trial because they were afraid to report the trial”……….”the papers refused to report the trial because they were afraid to”.

c. Linking Verb Deletion
In the linking verb deletion, the constituent that experiences a deletion is a verbal “be”. Linking verb occurs together with the noun phrase deletion. Linking verb deletion can be considered as tobe Deletion. “Be” deletion transformation happens in the present tense sentence. For example:
“wearing makeUp”…………”
three Woman are Wearing MakeUp”

d. Imperative deletion
It is called imperative deletion because it deletes the NP, for example:
You jump (Deep Structure)…………Jump (surface structure)
In order to get from this deep structure to the surface structure “Jump”, what is needed is not an additional phrase structure rule, but rather a transformational rule. This transformation will delete the NP “You” which has been generated by the phrase structure grammar. It is illustrated in the following tree diagram:

e. Deletion under identity
For example, Ellsberg was arrested by FBI and Fonda was too. These sentences seem to consist of a complete sentence, followed by the conjunction and, followed by what we can call elliptical sentence. Taken out context, these are meaningless and could not standalone. Yet, when conjoined will dull sentence used in ordinary speech. The meaning of each of the elliptical sentences is dependent on the meaning of the sentence that precedes it. Thus, Fonda was too is taken to mean that Fonda was arrested by FBI too. We should note that sentences such as those present our theory with several nontrivial problems. We have no way of generating elliptical sentences such as those just stated. Our phrase structure rule for sentences, for example: NPAuxVP, always generates structures that are “complete” and there is no way we can generate a “partial” structure such as Fonda was. Second, we have seen that the elliptical sentences are followed by
word “and”. Thus, we may choose to generate elliptical clauses, we must ensure that our theory reflects the facts that they are dependent on the preceding sentence, at least for their meaning.
See also:

How to Draw Tree Diagram

A tree diagram shows the hierarchical structure of the sentence. The sentence is considered the basic of the syntactic system. Instead of beginning with actual sentences, however we begin with the directions for generating or producing structural descriptions of sentences, which are set forth in phrase structure rules. The rules should be interpreted as an instruction to rewrite or expand the symbol on the left of the arrows as the sequence on the right. In S NP + VP, “S” stands for sentence, “NP” (Noun Phrase) and “VP” (Verb Phrase). The item on the left dominates the elements on the right. Bornstein starts with S, the highest level and works down to lower level until it comes to maximally specific level where in addition symbol can be written. This process is called derivational in the sentence.
Tree diagram provides a precise means of defining syntactic relation. NP is immediately dominated by an S in the subject of that sentence. An NP is immediately dominated by a VP is the object or complement of the sentence containing the verb phrase. Tree diagram also shows which words are constituents of a sentence (Bornstein, 1997: 44). From the diagram below we can see that Aux, Vt and NP belong to the VP.
Points of juncture in tree diagram are called nodes. If one node is immediately dominated by another, it is called a daughter node. If one node is immediately dominated by the same nodes, they are called sister nodes. In the following diagram, the nodes NP and VP are daughter of S and sister nodes of each other. NP is the left sister whereas VP is the right sister.

What Is Transformational Grammar?

According to Webster’s New World College Dictionary (1996: 1420), transformational grammar generates the deep structures of a language and converts this to the surface structures by means of transformation. Goodman (1970: 299) stated that all kinds of English sentences can be analyzed by using structure rule. He said that a sentence consists of phrase structure, noun phrase (NP), verb phrase (VP), adjective phrase (Adj. P), prepositional phrase (PP), auxiliary (Aux), and others.

Bornstein (1977: 39-99) says that “Transformations bring about various kinds of changes; they can rearrange elements in a string of symbols, add elements that were not there before, delete elements, and substitute one element for another.” He also said that in Transformational Grammar (TG) phrase structure is illustrated by means of tree diagrams called phrasemakers, which show the hierarchical structure of sentence. Bornstein symbolizes some of the common symbols used in Phrase Structure Rule as follows:

In Transformational Grammar, Phrase Structure Rules are illustrated by means of tree diagram called “phrase makers” that show the hierarchical structure of the sentence. We begin S, the highest level, and work down to the lower levels until we come to maximally specific of terminal level where no additional symbols can be written. This process is called a derivation of sentence. This steps of derivation of a sentence is:

The heart of theory is in the transformational rules that account for the relationship among different types of patterns. Transformation refers to the objective of process. “Bill painted the house” and “the house was painted by Bill” are different in surface structure but the meaning and the relationships that hold between the parts of these two sentences has same transformational grammar.
See also:

Different Language or Dialect?

Key words:
Isogloss, Mutual intelligibility, Dialect continuum, Dialect boundary

Sometimes in a big city like New York, in which so many people come from different countries and regions reside and visit,  not so difficult to identify whether the interaction done by the people use the same language or not, since it is already clear enough that the indigenous society of that city is extremely difficult to find nowadays. In other words, most of the people who reside in that city are immigrants. There are more or less 140 languages spoken in New York City; however, at least only four communities which  become the biggest of all, those are: Arabic spoken community, Chinese, French Creole, and Spanish. Those four communities speak their language among the members of their society and English for different members of community. English becomes a lingua franca, language that is widely used as a means of communication among speakers of different languages, since those four share mutual intelligibility through it.

Moreover, the term mutual intelligibility refers to  a situation in which speakers of two different languages can understand each other in their communication. It becomes an indicator whether they share a same language or not.  When your hearer can understand thing that you've said and vice versa means that you and your hearer has mutual intelligibility, although you may find certain differences in terms of dictions, pronunciations, or even the structures, in his language,  as long as you can still understand the language he uses and vice versa, you speak a same language. Furthermore, those differences in the study of sociolinguistics refers to what so called dialect. Therefore, you share a same language but different dialect


Just say in one island has nine communities: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, and I. Can you guess when the member of A communicate with B, do you think that they will understand each other or not? Of course it is very possible that they can, although they may find few differences but many similarities in the language they use; but that as they move farther away the similarities become fewer and fewer. So, A is very similar to B, less similar to C, even less similar to D, and by the time they get to G, H or I, can you guess what happen when they meet? Do you think that they still have mutual intelligibility? the possibility of this is so tiny. This is the illustration of what so called dialect continuum. According to  Bloomfield it refers to a range of dialects spoken across some geographical area that differ only slightly between neighboring areas, but as one travels in any direction, these differences accumulate such that speakers from opposite ends of the continuum are no longer mutually intelligible.

The different items that shape a dialect is called isogloss. As you know that British has football while American has soccer, this one difference represents one isogloss. The compilation of isoglosses found within two different communities will shape a line abstractly which separates those two regions, this abstract line is called dialect boundary.   


However, not all theories are applicable, according to this theory the key to differentiate  language or dialect is mutual intelligibility. Have you ever go to China? There are so many regions/ provinces China has. If you ask the China authorities how many languages the Chinese speak in their daily activities, surely you will get answer, only one namely Chinese language, with many different dialects. However, when you closely observe when two people from different provinces meet and speak their own dialect, you will find that between them there is no mutual intelligibility, or in other words, they speak different language. To unify those provinces, the Chinese government claims that they only speak different dialect but still in the same language.

Or Indonesia and Malaysia for instance, those two countries claim that they have their own language, Indonesia has Bahasa Indonesia and Malaysia has Malay language; however, if you pay attention carefully, there are so many similarities among those two languages, and in fact they share mutual intelligibility. In other words, they are a same language, but due to political consideration Indonesian and Malaysia claim that those are two different languages.

Types of Poetic Forms

  • Formula Poems
A formula poem is a poem in which every line is begun in the same way or a   particular kind of word in every line is inserted; a poem that employs repetition, i.e. a stylistic device that is more effective for young poets than rhyme. Formula poems may include:

(1) “I Wish …. “ poems
(2) Color poems
(3) Five-senses poems
(4) “If I Were … poems
(5) “I Used to …, But Now…” poems
(6) “….. Is” poems
(7) Preposition poems

Example (Five-Senses Poem)
                        Being Heartbroken
Sounds like thunder and lightning
Looks like a carrot going through a blender
Tastes like sour milk
Feels like a splinter in your finger
Smells like a dead fish
It must be horrible

  • Free-Form Poems
Free-form poems are poems in which words are chosen to describe something and put together to express a thought or tell a story, without concern for rhyme or other arrangements. The number of words per line and the use of punctuation vary. Free-form poems may include:

(1) Concrete poems (words, phrases, sentences written in the shape of  an object)
(2) Found poems (culling words from other sources: songs, articles, stories)

Example (Found Poem)

                        Fast Moving
Moving down the track,
faster than fast, is Richard Petty
seven-time winner of
the crowned jewel
Daytona 500.
At 210 mph– dangerous-
pushing his engine to the limit.
Other NASCARs running fast
but Richard Petty takes the lead
at last.
Running across the line
with good time.

  • Syllable- and Word-Count Poems
Syllable- and word-count poems are poems that provide a certain structure consisting certain syllables or words. Syllable- and word-count poems may include:

(1) Haiku (17 syllables arranged in three lines, 5, 7, and 5 => nature)
(2) Tanka (31 syllables arranged in five lines, 5-7-5-7-7 => nature)
(3) Cinquain (22 syllables arranged in five lines, 2-4-6-8-2 => something, story)
(4) Diamante (seven-line contrast poem written in a shape of a diamond)

Example (Diamante)

wrinkled tiny
crying wetting sleeping
rattles diapers money house
caring working loving
smart helpful

  • Rhymed Verse Forms
Rhymed Verse Forms are forms of poems that utilize both rhyme and rhythm as their poetic devices. These include:

(1) Limerick (5 lines, 1st, 2nd, 5th lines rhyme; 3rd, 4th rhyme  rhyme scheme: a-a-b-b-a; last line contains a funny, surprising ending)
(2) Clerihews (4 lines describing historical figures, characters of stories; rhyme scheme: a-b-a-b)

Example (Limerick)

There once was a frog named Pete
Who did nothing but sit and eat
He examined each fly
With so careful an eye
And then said, “You’re dead meat.”

  • Model Poems
Model poems are poems that are modeled on poems composed by  
adult/renown poets. Model poems include:

(1) Apologies (Model of William Carlos Williams’s “This is Just to Say”)
(2) Invitations (Model of Shakespeare’s “Come Unto These Yellow Sands”)
(3) Prayers from the Ark (Model of Carmen Bernos de Gasztold’s “Prayers
      from the Ark”)
(4) If I were in Charge of the World (Judith Viorst’s “If I Were in Charge of the

Example (Invitation)

                                        The Golden Shore
Come unto the golden shore
Where days are filled with laughter,
And nights filled with whispering winds.
Where sunflowers and sun
Are filled with love.
Come take my hand
As we walk into the sun.

For more poetic forms:

Poetry: Under the Same Sun Analysis

By: Scorpions

I saw the morning
It was shattered by a gun
Heard a scream, saw him fall, no one cried
I saw a mother
She was praying for her son
Bring him back, let him live, don’t let him die

Do you ever ask yourself
Is there a heaven in the sky
Why cant we get it right

cause we all live under the same sun
We all walk under the same moon
Then why, why cant we live as one

I saw the evening
Fading shadows one by one
We watch the lamb, lay down to the sacrifice
I saw the children
The children of the sun
How they wept, how they bled, how they died

Do you ever ask yourself
Is there a heaven in the sky
Why can’t we stop the fight

cause we all live under the same sun
We all walk under the same moon
Then why, why can’t we live as one

Sometimes I think I’m going mad
Were loosing all we had and no one seems to care
But in my heart it doesn’t change
We’ve got to rearrange and bring our world some love
And does it really matter
If there’s a heaven up above
We sure could use some love

cause we all live under the same sun
We all walk under the same moon
Then why, why can’t we live as one
cause we all live under the same sky
We all look up at the same stars
then why, tell me why can’t we live as one

Background and setting of the song
In 1993 Scorpions released Face the Heat.  The album was a hit, propelled in large part by the massive success of the ballad "under the same sun". The song muses on the socio-political changes that were occurring in Eastern Europe and in other parts of the world at the end of the Cold War.

Theme of the song
The song is talking about war, why can’t we stop the war? Why can’t we live in peace and harmony?
The first stanza describes the situation of war which ruins the morning peace, the victims of the war, and parent who loss their son because he is forced to go to a battle. Moreover, the reference shows a kind of protest against the situation, why must there be a war if we basically have a same destiny and fate; we all live under the same sun and we all walk under the same moon.

There are some symbols can be found in the song, the first, the word “the morning” in the first stanza in line one. Based on the following sentence it can be meant youths whose future is ruined by the war, they are forced to fight in combat. Moreover, it is also can be meant the beginning of day which is full of hope, also in the morning, the sun rises, the animals start to sing, all the activities of creatures on the surface of earth begins.

The second symbols can be found in the fourth stanza in line one, the word “evening” supported by the following sentence means the old generation whose hope was fading because it  was taken cruelly by the war.

The third symbol is the word “lamb” in the fourth stanza line three. It can be interpreted that lamb refers to innocent people or children who were sacrificed vainly during the war.

The fourth symbol is the phrase “children of the sun” in the fourth stanza line four refers to the young generation who carries the future of a nation, even the world. However, they had been the victim of the war. “How they wept, how they bled, how they died”, from this statement we can infer that the war not only adverse the nation who fight against each other but also ruin the future of the world by murdering children who will make a change in the future.

Poetic Devices
a. Stanza of the song
The first, fourth, and last stanza are categorized into sestet since it has six lines in one stanza; while the second, third, fifth, and sixth are included into triplet; and septet in the seventh stanza.

b. Repetition
The repetition of word can be found in first and forth stanza in line one and three, “I saw…” , the second case of repetition is sentence repetition which can be found in the second and fifth stanza in line one “Do you ever ask yourself Is there a heaven in the sky” and the last is the reference of the song in the third and sixth stanza “cause we all live under the same sun We all walk under the same moon Then why, why cant we live as one”

c. figures of speech
Most of the content of the song in the form of irony like we can see in:
Cause we all live under the same sun
We all walk under the same moon
Then why, why can’t we live as one
cause we all live under the same sky
We all look up at the same stars
then why, tell me why can’t we live as one

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