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syntax

Definitions of Syntax

  1. (noun) The study of rules governing the arrangement of words and other elements (e.g., punctuation) to create clauses, phrases, and sentences.
  2. (noun) The formal rules for structuring well-formed clauses, phrases, and sentences.

Example of Syntax

Syntax Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: syn·tax

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /sIn-taks/
  • British English – /sIn-taks/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /ˈsɪnˌtæks/
  • British English – /ˈsɪntaks/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: syntaxes
  • Not to be confused with semantics, which relates to the meaning of words.
  • Also called:
    • phrase structure
    • sentence structure
  • A (noun) syntactician is a linguist that specializes in studying (adjective) syntactic topics.

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Additional Information

Related Terms


Cite the Definition of Syntax

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “syntax.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved July 4, 2020 (https://sociologydictionary.org/syntax/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

syntax. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/syntax/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “syntax.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed July 4, 2020. https://sociologydictionary.org/syntax/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“syntax.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 4 Jul. 2020. <https://sociologydictionary.org/syntax/>.