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Syntax in Research Papers

Syntax is an important part of all research papers. The writers at Paper Masters understand syntax and can help you with your research paper on any topic.

Syntax can refer to one of two things.

  1. In linguistics, it is the structure above words, usually indicating sentence formation.
  2. In mathematics, it refers to the rules that govern the behavior of mathematical systems, including logic.

In both cases, the term “syntax” deals with rules.


Syntax - a Subset of Grammar

For most of human history, syntax existed as a subset of grammar. Many thinkers believed that language was a reflection of thought. For the most part, English syntax follows the rule of subject, verb, and object. However, word order can be reversed in certain situations, such as poetry, in order to achieve a certain artistic statement. Syntax in prose can be manipulated to either speed up or slow down a particular passage.

In the 20th century, syntactic theory developed into a complex theory of linguistics. Generative grammar, for example, holds that language is a structure of the human mind. Noam Chomsky was instrumental in developing generative grammar.

In logic, however, syntax refers to anything related formal language without interpretation of meaning. It is the rules for constructing or transforming symbols, as opposed to semantics. Symbols are ideas or concepts. Formal language consists of a finite set of symbols. A set of sentences in a formal language is called a formal theory. The term syntax has also migrated to computer science, in which it refers to the rules that govern the composition of text in formal languages, such as a programming language.

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