Most linguistic theories involve several levels of analysis of text (I use text here to include transcriptions of speech). For example texts can be analysed from the point of view of phonology – the organised system of sounds in a language. They can be analysed from the point of view of morphology – the way that words in a language can be analysed into meaningful units (or not, as the case may be). Then there’s syntax: the analysis of words organised into sentences; semantics – the analysis of the meaning of words and sentences; pragmatics – what people achieve by the use of sentences; and there’s discourse – the analysis of sentences organised into larger texts. One popular conception of the task of translation is the transfer of a structure in a source language to a structure in a target language. What are these structures that are transferred?
Lots of good examples (even though I wish he hadn’t mentioned Chomsky as the linguist par excellence).