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Grammar is the study of any patterns/rules governing the use of language.

It is a very wide concept, and can be said to consist of:

  • syntax, the study of word combining in sequences
  • morphology, the study of forms, formation and general structure of words,
  • phonetics, the study of sounds, specifically and usually of the human voice,
  • phonology, the study of sound systems, of a specific language or across languages

And crossover concepts, such as:

  • Morphosyntactics, the interaction between syntax and morphology.
Largely concerned with inflection and paradigms.
  • morphophonology, the interaction between morphological and phonological/phonetic processes
e.g. phonological changes that occur at morpheme or word boundaries
  • phonotactics, a language's restrictions on the combinations of what phonemes that occur.
e.g. the analysis that Spanish has about 800 diphones, German about 2500.(verify)

People also use 'Grammar' in narrower senses, e.g.

  • "anything that has effect on sentence structure"
think appositions, subject/object/verb relations, etc.

In a somewhat different corner - interaction, context, implicit information, you also have:

  • semantics, the study of the assignment of meaning to language,
  • pragmatics, which include the study of the deviation of the sentence's and speaker's meaning, focussing on things like context, and perhaps describable as the study of communication of complex concepts.

These are also often seen as things beside grammar, at roughly the same leevl of abstraction.

Real-world lingual models (particularly the more historical ones) often look mostly at syntax and morphology first, in part to be practical about describing, parsing and/or producing that language. Morphology and phonology tend to come later.


This category has only the following subcategory.