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SYNTAX : Sentence Construction and Word Order AP Language & Composition, Mrs. Flynn.

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1 SYNTAX : Sentence Construction and Word Order AP Language & Composition, Mrs. Flynn

2 Overview Syntax refers, in general, to the order of words in a sentence that results in various sentence types used for a variety of rhetorical effects. Syntax is thought of as the rhythm of prose. Syntax variety creates interesting, fluent, readable prose. Aspects of syntax (like repetition & placement of ideas) are used for emphasis

3 Studying syntax is important... Sentences impact the narrative pace of a passage, making it read fast or slow, which therefore impacts the idea/theme Certain types of sentences are better at emphasizing ideas, so key notions become prominent through repetition and parallel structure There are questions in the multiple-choice section of the exam that ask you to identify types of sentences

4 Word Order In English, we have a common or typical word order in a sentence: subject verbobject Mrs. Flynn lovesshoes

5 Inverted Syntax Sometimes writers use what we call inverted syntax, which is simply an atypical or unusual word order. There are several reasons why a writer would use inverted syntax. Inverted order makes us pay close attention It creates emphasis It slows down our reading of the text

6 Typical/ Normal Syntax Inverted/ Unusual Syntax Stephen ate a blueberry muffin for breakfast. A blueberry muffin Stephen ate for breakfast. Or For breakfast ate Stephen a blueberry muffin.

7 Robert Frost When RF wrote, Whose woods these are I think I know, he was no doubt using inverted syntax to satisfy his rhyme scheme, and writing I think I know whose woods these are was just not going to work for him. As a result, he created an unusual, but highly memorable line.

8 Its not just poetry Inverted syntax is used in prose too. Again, the reason is to draw attention to some aspect of the text worthy of an extended or second thought..

9 TEST TIP! When you notice inverted syntax in a passage on the exam, mark it and make an annotation. Even if there is no question about it, you may have discovered an important marker worth further exploration.

10 Sentence TypeAttributes PERIODIC The most important idea comes at the end of the sentence. Example: Doctors were convinced they had destroyed the pernicious infection, but just when they thought hed recover fully, Mario became savagely febrile and died.

11 Sentence TypeAttributes LOOSEThe most important idea is revealed early and the sentence unfolds loosely after that. Example: After her chemotherapy failed, Margaret lay moribund in the hospice, glad for the kindness of nurses, thankful for each new morning that she was able to enjoy.

12 Sentence Type Attributes PARALLEL A parallel sentence (sometimes called a balanced sentence) contains parts of equal grammatical structure or rhetorical value in a variety of combinations. Two examples of parallel structures: 1.The dog ate voraciously, joyously, and noisily. (The verb ate is modified by three multisyllabic adverbs, which seems somewhat lofty in style for such a mundane act as a dog eating.) 2.Joyce was worn down by the constant invasion of her co-workers, by their insistent stares, by their noisy whispers, by their unveiled disdain. She knew she had to find another job. (The parallel phrases are set off by commas; this also is an example of anaphora.)

13 Sentence TypeAttributes REPETITION Types of repetition in sentences: Anaphora: The repetition of the same word or words at the beginning of a series of phrases, clauses, or sentences. Example: The new paradigm was threatening, the new paradigm was bold, and the new paradigm made students angry as they struggled with the new dress code that would force them all to wear plaid jackets.

14 Sentence TypeAttributes REPETITION Epistrophe: Ending a series of lines, phrases, clauses, or sentences with the same word or words. Example: Claras eyes sparkled inscrutably in her wizened old face as her twenty-something boss told her that he no longer needed her, that he no longer had use for her, that he no longer would employ her.

15 Sentence Type Attributes REPETITION Asyndeton: conjunctions are omitted between words, phrases, or clauses. Example: The only way the commoners could mitigate the Queens rage was to lie humbly prostrate before her, to be temporarily subservient, to feign obedience for the moment.

16 Sentence TypeAttributes REPETITION Chiasmus: Two corresponding pairs ordered in an ABBA pattern. Example: The Queen reveled in the villagers adulation, but the villagers adulation was false as they feared her peremptory decree that everyone should turn their surfeit of grain over to the court.

17 Sentence TypeAttributes REPETITION Polysyndeton: The use of the conjunctions between each word, phrase, or clause. Example: The mountain climber felt immense trepidation as he faced his arduous climb up K2 but he knew the rewards would be great and the thrill exhilarating and the press conference flattering and he gained momentum from that renewed vigor.

18 Sentence TypeAttributes GRAMMATICAL SENTENCE TYPES Simple: One subject, one verb, modifiers, complements. Simple sentences are generally short, direct, and in combination with more complex sentences can be used for emphasis. Example: Puppies need a lot of care.

19 Sentence TypeAttributes GRAMMATICAL SENTENCE TYPES Compound: Two independent clauses joined by coordinating conjunction. Remember this mnemonic device: FANBOYS: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. Example: The kings edict that adulterers would be punished by death caused a raucous din in the local taverns, for even the common folk knew that he had many indiscretions of his own for which to atone.

20 Sentence TypeAttributes GRAMMATICAL SENTENCE TYPES Complex: contains an independent clause and a (dependent) subordinate clause. Example: Since the nuns ascetic life provided her few material comforts, the wool shawl the novitiate knitted for her was a cherished treasure.

21 Sentence TypeAttributes GRAMMATICAL SENTENCE TYPES Compound-complex: contains two independent clauses and a dependent (subordinate) clause Example: Even though Rafaels muse had sparked his fertile imagination, he nonetheless lost his drive to paint, so he eased his plight by driving a taxi.

22 Sentence TypeAttributes GRAMMATICAL SENTENCE PURPOSES 1.Declarative sentence: Makes a statement 2.Imperative sentence: Makes a command 3.Interrogative sentence: Asks a questions 4.Exclamatory sentence: makes and emphatic or emotion-filled statement

23 TEST TIP! Your own syntax is important in the essay section of the exam.

24 More aspects of syntax 1.Climax: the main idea or most important point in a sentence. The position of the climax may be varied for effect. 2.Cadence: The rhythm or music of a sentence that comes through parallel elements and repetition. 3.Narrative pace: the pace or speed of a passage comes through the following elements: Length of words Omission of words or punctuation Ellipsis (series of dots) indicates something is missing Length of sentences Number of dependent/subordinate clauses Repetition of sounds

25 Remember the 3 Ps of Syntax Prominence: refers to the importance given to an idea in a sentence. Prominence is achieved both by placement and repetition. Sometimes an idea is isolated in a short sentence where it is given sold prominence. If a word is ever set off alone as a fragment, it is being given prominence that youd best not ignore. Instead ask the question, why is this word isolated?

26 Position: means where the key idea is located. It will most often come at the beginning of the sentence (loose sentence) or at the end of the sentence (periodic sentence). But sometimes, writers use nonstandard syntax, or inverted word order, to draw attention to certain words or ideas.

27 Pace: is when the speed of the text generally complements the authors purpose. While the following two examples are literature- based, they demonstrate the concept perfectly, and you may be familiar with each example. Example: Quentins section in Faulkners The Sound and The Fury is presented primarily in stream of consciousness, with fast-paced narration that emphasizes the characters fragile state of mind.

28 Example 2: in Maya Angelous poem, Woman work, the first stanza in which she describes all the tasks to be done is meant to be read so fast that the reader actually feels tired after reading it. The rest of the poem is composed of 4-line stanzas that read much, much slower. The images in these stanzas evoke peace, coolness, and rest.

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