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Syntax

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Syntax Analysis

Syntax Analysis

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  • 1. Syntax The manner in which a speaker or author constructs a sentence affects what the audience understands … syntax must be examined for its ability to contribute to and enhance meaning and effect.
  • 2. Words to Describe Sent. Structure
    • Telegraphic
      • Shorter than 5 words in length
    • Short
      • Approximately 5-10 words in length
    • Medium
      • Approximately 18 words in length
    • Long and involved
      • 30 words or more in length
  • 3. Sentence Patterns 1
    • One of the most important elements of syntax is the way the words, phrases, and clauses are arranged.
    • Declarative makes a statement
      • The king is sick.
    • Imperative gives a command
      • Cure the king!
    • Interrogative asks a question
      • Is the king sick?
    • Exclamatory provides emphasis or expresses strong emotion
      • The king is dead! Long live the king!
  • 4. Sentence Patterns 2
    • One of the most important elements of syntax is the way the words, phrases, and clauses are arranged.
    • Simple Sentence contains one independent clause
      • The singer bowed to her adoring audience.
    • Compound Sentence contains two independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction or by a semicolon
      • The singer bowed to the audience, but she sang no encores
    • Complex Sentence contains an independent clause and one or more subordinate clauses
      • Because the singer was tired, she went straight to bed after the concert.
  • 5. Sentence Patterns 3
    • One of the most important elements of syntax is the way the words, phrases, and clauses are arranged.
    • Compound-Complex sentence contains two or more independent clauses and one or more subordinate clauses
      • The singer bowed while the audience applauded, but she sang no encores.
    • Loose or Cumulative sentence has the independent clauses come first; less important or supplementary details to follow.
      • We reached Edmonton that morning after a turbulent flight and some exciting experiences, tired but exhilarated, full of stories to tell our friends and neighbors.
    • Periodic Sentence has the main idea come last, just before the period.
      • That morning, after a turbulent flight and some exciting experiences, we reached Edmonton.
  • 6. Syntax Questions
    • What is the effect of sentence length the author uses?
    • Is there a good variety of sentence beginnings, or does a pattern emerge?
    • Are the arrangement of ideas in a sentence set out in a special way for a purpose?
    • Arrangement in a paragraph?
    • Does a pattern emerge suggesting a particular strategy on the part of the author?
  • 7. Words to Describe Style
    • Plain, spare, austere, unadorned
    • Ornate, elaborate, flowery
    • Jumbled, chaotic, obfuscating
    • Erudite, esoteric
    • Journalistic, terse, laconic
    • Harsh, grating
    • Mellifluous, musical, lilting, lyrical
    • Whimsical
    • Elegant
    • Staccato, abrupt
    • Solid, thudding
    • Sprawling,
    • Disorganized
    • Dry
    • Deceptively simple
  • 8. Single Sentence
    • “ Next morning when the first light came into the sky and sparrows stirred in the trees, when the cows rattled their chains and the rooster crowed and the early automobiles went whispering along the road, Wilbur awoke and looked for Charlotte.”
  • 9. Single Sentence
    • “ Next morning when the first light came into the sky and sparrows stirred in the trees, when the cows rattled their chains and the rooster crowed and the early automobiles went whispering along the road, Wilbur awoke and looked for Charlotte.”
    • Sentence follows the awakening process
    • Sunlight is farthest removed from humanity
    • No mention of animal characteristics
    • Periodic
    • Scene is set before the action
  • 10. Paragraph
    • It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
      • Charles Dickens , A Tale of Two Cities English novelist (1812 - 1870)

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