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Syntax


In linguistics, syntax (/ˈsɪnˌtæks/) is the set of rules, principles, and processes that govern the structure of sentences in a given language, specifically word order. The term syntax is also used to refer to the study of such principles and processes. The goal of many syntacticians is to discover the syntactic rules common to all languages.

In mathematics, syntax refers to the rules governing the behavior of mathematical systems, such as formal languages used in logic. (See logical syntax.)

The word syntax comes from Ancient Greek: "coordination", which consists of σύν syn, "together," and τάξις táxis, "an ordering".

A basic feature of a language's syntax is the sequence in which the subject (S), verb (V), and object (O) usually appear in sentences. Over 85% of languages usually place the subject first, either in the sequence SVO or the sequence SOV. The other possible sequences are VSO, VOS, OVS, and OSV, the last three of which are rare.



  • Brown, Keith; Miller, Jim, eds. (1996). Concise Encyclopedia of Syntactic Theories. New York: Elsevier Science. ISBN . 
  • Carnie, Andrew (2006). Syntax: A Generative Introduction (2nd ed.). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN . 
  • Freidin, Robert; Lasnik, Howard, eds. (2006). Syntax. Critical Concepts in Linguistics. New York: Routledge. ISBN . 
  • Graffi, Giorgio (2001). 200 Years of Syntax. A Critical Survey. Studies in the History of the Language Sciences 98. Amsterdam: Benjamins. ISBN . 
  • Talasiewicz, Mieszko (2009). Philosophy of Syntax—Foundational Topics. Springer. ISBN .  An interdisciplinary essay on the interplay between logic and linguistics on syntactic theories.
  • Tesnière, Lucien 1969. Éleménts de syntaxe structurale. 2nd edition. Paris: Klincksieck.
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Wikipedia

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