One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(in tagmemics) a slot in a syntactic frame which may be filled by any member of a set of appropriate linguistic items.
- ‘Then in 1964 he came up with the idea of setting up contrastive tagmemes of subject-as-actor in contrast to subject-as-goal.’
- ‘The discussion of other work in syntax during those years is generally restricted to occasional references to the tagmemes of Kenneth Pike and the now-classic article on immediate constituents by Rulon Wells (Wells 1947).’
- ‘In the same way as mentioned above, the sentence: "He likes books" consists of three tagmemes -- the `subject' slot filled by a pronoun, the `predicate' slot filled by transitive verb, and the `object' slot filled by a noun.’
- ‘Tagmemics is a method of finding things out, of conceptualizing reality, and it is this method of conceptualization, rather than the tagmeme as an all-purpose tool, that [a guy named] Pike has brought to composition.’
- ‘A tagmeme is described by a slot and class relationship (optionally including role and cohesion in the four-celled tagmeme).’
1930s: from Greek tagma ‘arrangement’ + -eme.
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