UV Raman scattering is employed as a nondestructive structure sensitive probe to investigate the vibrational properties of the wide bandgap, machined and indented surfaces of 6H-SiC and β-Si3N4. In these materials, the short absorption depth of UV light allows for accurate probing of the surface, and the transparency to visible light allows for analysis of the bulk material. The study on 6H-SiC (0001) included measurements of indentations, and of machined circular (0001) wafer edges. The indentation analysis indicates the response of the material to localized pressures. Machined 6H-SiC wafer edges and machined β-Si3N4 surfaces indicate a ductile response and ductile material removal for machining at cutting depths on a nm and μm scale. Raman scattering measurements of the ductile surfaces and ductile material removed indicate residual structure changes. The residual surface structures could indicate that a high-pressure phase transformation is the origin of a ductile response on machined brittle materials.