Under syntax ( from Ancient Greek σύνταξις [' syntaksis ] ( σύν: "together", τάξις: "order, order " ) is understood in a general sense, the aspect of natural or artificial sign systems that they rules for combining elementary characters into composite characters provide. joining the rules of syntax are then compared to especially the rules of interpretation of semantics.

Specifically, we mean by syntax a branch of grammar of natural languages ​​, which deals with the construction of sets of elementary building blocks ( words or phrases ), so the syntax. The syntax is usually then distinguished by the morphology (linguistics), which deals with the internal structure of words ( although this can be represented as the assembly of elements).

Just as the term grammar, the term can " syntax " refer to the structural properties of sign systems itself or to the theoretical- scientific description of these structural properties.

The syntax of sign systems in general

Semiotics is since Charles W. Morris divided into syntactic, semantic and pragmatics. The syntactics is often mistakenly equated with syntax. The differences between syntactic and syntax based on the fact that Morris posed by a trilateral character model and the syntactic applies only to the signifier. In contrast, Ferdinand de Saussure is based on a bilateral character and thinks with syntax, the type of " connection of signifier and signified " the speech act, the watchword. Thus, Morris ' syntactics has nothing to do with the meaning or function of the character, but only with the concatenation of the signifier. Saussure's syntax, however, does have semantic / functional aspects.

The syntax of verbal signs by systems

The expression syntax is used for natural and formal languages. The relationship between natural and formal syntax is seen differently. For the logician Richard Montague ( "Universal Grammar", 1970), there was no difference in principle.

The syntax of natural languages ​​( natural syntax )

Position of the syntax in the grammar

Based on natural language syntax is one of the two departments of grammar; the other is morphology. The distinction between them is growing generally to levels of complexity of the grammatical structure of linguistic expressions reference: From the minimal linguistic sign ( morpheme ) as concerned about the strain as surveyed up to the word form as interviewing the morphology is responsible. From there up to the levels of complexity, so interviewing from Syntagma as the candidates of the simple sentence such as ( if ) you interviewing the candidates to the composite set as hold you back when you interviewing the candidate, the syntax is responsible. For the syntax, the word form is a wholeness, with its inner structure syntactic rules have nothing to do; this need only "know" what syntactically relevant morphological categories ever heard the word form. Thus, for example, a syntactic rule that the Prädikatsverb in if you are interviewing in congruence with its subject in the second person singular is the candidate. But this form (in this verb) is, therefore, the morphology care (if the verb would let them in, for example, it meadow - as opposed to interviewing - umlaut on ).

The demarcation problems between syntax and morphology, you can eg gauged from phrasal compound words such as go down ( one or two words? ) or horse artillery barracks ( the attribute riding is one of artillery, but this in turn part of another word is ). The derivation, which is supplied as part of word-formation on the morphology, has syntactic aspects. So the survey is derived from the base surveyed. But in the above example, the subordinate clause if you interviewing the candidates a paradigmatic relation to the alternative in your questioning of the candidates that is seen in both traditional as well as contemporary theories of syntax and syntactic relationship.

Block syntax, word syntax, text syntax

In the conventional sense syntax means the doctrine of the sentence (the study of (correct) syntax ) or the syntax The syntax itself as part of the grammar deals with the patterns and rules by which words put together to form larger functional units, such as those just mentioned, and relationships as part-whole, etc. formulated dependency between this set of limbs.

In addition to this set centered perspective ( block syntax ), one speaks also in a wider sense of an intra- verbal syntax or word syntax (also: word syntax), which examines combinatorial rules in the morphology, and by a text syntax that deals with the rules of combination of sentences dealing with texts. The use of the word syntax in the syntax of grammar is coextensive (ie the morphology of either including or phonology strikes ), found mainly in the English linguistics as well as in the theory of formal languages ​​( in which morphology does not matter).

Theories of sentence syntax

In linguistics there is a diversity and competition of syntax models, theories and schools. " Each of the models has its strengths and weaknesses. " Besides the models of traditional school grammar, the syntax is the basis of hypothetical universal, innate principles of form ( Noam Chomsky ) or its communicative purpose ( Functional Syntax ) or their role in the construction of complex meanings (logical semantics Montague or categorical grammar) studied. Numerous such models are listed in Article syntactic theory. Are among the more important

  • The dependency grammar
  • The Government and Binding Theory ( Chomsky 1981), a variant of generative grammar
  • The Head -driven Phrase Structure Grammar.

The syntactic structure of a natural language sentence is represented differently in these models. The variants of the phrase structure grammar they represent in the form of a tree structure, which reflects the part-whole relationships of the constituents of the sentence graphically. Dependency which it represents in the form of a stemma which represents the dependencies between words.

The syntax of formal languages ​​(formal syntax)

Under the syntax of a formal language (formal syntax) - such as programming languages ​​in computer science or calculi in the logic - is a system of rules that allowed structures or well-formed expressions of a basic character set are ( in alphabetical order ) formed - which of the substantive meaning of the sign is omitted or can be.

A formal syntax can be described graphically by a syntactic graph.