What Does Syntax Mean?


3 Answers

Yo Kass Profile
Yo Kass answered
Syntax can be simply described as 'the rules of sentence structure'.

The rules of syntax are associated with the way parts of speech like the noun, adjectives, verbs, etc, are used in a phrase, clause or a sentence to sound right and make grammatical sense.

What does syntax mean in literature? You'd be likely to hear the word 'syntax' being used to examine the grammatical structure of a piece of writing or literature. Often teachers will refer to it when studying the way a writer forms a sentence or phrase.

Essentially, syntax is a very broad field of study that attempts to understand and create rules for the way individual parts of a sentence work together the way they do.

The discipline crosses all language boundaries, and so is by no means unique to English.
In fact, one major area of syntactic studies focuses on how structure in language is inherent to the structure of the human mind. This field is known as generative grammar.

The study of syntax is heavily linked with other branches of linguistics that examine the way we communicate, these include:
  • Semantics
  • Morphology
  • Pragmatics
  • Discourse Analysis
What does syntax mean in computer programming? Syntax in computer programming can be regarded in much the same way the syntax of a spoken or written language is. Just as English sentences are formed by words and phrases of different types, computer syntax looks at how individual segments of information must be presented in order for a computer to make sense of their meaning as a whole.

Learning the 'syntax' of a computer language like C++ is exactly the same as learning the rules of grammar in a foreign language. Without understand the syntax of a language, you can learn as much vocabulary as you want, but without presenting it in the correct format, it will be a meaningless string of data.
Will Martin Profile
Will Martin answered
Syntax is another name for word order - the way that words are arranged in a sentence and their relation to each other.  Syntax affects meaning - without it, we would speak in jumbled sentences (i.e. It's because of the rules of syntax that we would say "The black dog is chasing the green ball" rather than "ball is dog black green the chasing" or any other arrangement we feel like.  This doesn't mean that syntax is fixed for all time, only that there must be general agrement on the rules if language is to function. In fact the syntax of English (and of many other languages) has changed over time. Middle English word order was quite different; a sentence like "with him there was dwelling a poor scholar" would be "a poor scholar was living with him" today.  Traces of the older syntax can still be found in expressions like "Neither am I" and "never have I been so surprised, but in general, modern English follows the basic syntactical rule of subject-verb-object ("the cat sat on the mat," not "on the mat sat the cat.")
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
For example: A calculator will display 'Syn ERROR' when the formula entered does not follow the programmed set of rules; such as '3 X xy2'

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