One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounPlural syntagmas, Plural syntagms, Plural syntagmata
1A linguistic unit consisting of a set of linguistic forms (phonemes, words, or phrases) that are in a sequential relationship to one another.‘the syntagm is always composed of two or more units’Often contrasted with paradigm
- ‘For Saussure, syntagms are a ‘horizontal’ dimension of language, and are the regular and typical patterns of structure in the language system.’
- ‘In addition, notes of the missing syntagms have to be made, and schemes of the structure and movement of the text have to be drawn, making the piece difficult to comprehend.’
- ‘In written etic discourse, which is, after all, a linear string of syntagms, one may need to break off in order to ‘enflesh’ a character.’
- ‘The tone, mood, fast-paced interjections, and witty syntagms of the 1940s vernacular are very difficult to convey in the several lines of subtitled translation.’
- 1.1 The relationship between two syntagms.
Mid 17th century: via late Latin from Greek suntagma, from suntassein ‘arrange together’.
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