Syntax

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Origin

Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French sintaxe, from Late Latin syntaxis, from Greek, from syntassein to arrange together, from syn- + tassein to arrange

Definitions

  • 1a : the way in which linguistic elements (as words) are put together to form constituents (as phrases or clauses)
b : the part of grammar dealing with this

Description

In linguistics, syntax (from Ancient Greek σύνταξις "arrangement" from σύν syn, "together", and τάξις táxis, "an ordering") is the study of the principles and rules for constructing phrases and sentences in natural languages.

In addition to referring to the overarching discipline, the term syntax is also used to refer directly to the rules and principles that govern the sentence structure of any individual language, as in "the syntax of Modern Irish."

Modern research in syntax attempts to describe languages in terms of such rules. Many professionals in this discipline attempt to find general rules that apply to all natural languages.

The term syntax is also used to refer to the rules governing the behavior of mathematical systems, such as formal languages used in logic. See Syntax (logic); Computer-programming languages; Syntax (programming languages).[1]

See also