The Issue of the Linguistic Structure Concept in Contemporary Romanian Syntax
While it is fundamental for the
Keywords: Relationshiplinguistic systemlinguistic structuresyntagmlexeme
In our linguistic analysis, we used mixed-method approach which can illustrate with example how
qualitative methods as bibliographical research, analysis, observation and interpretation can contribute
to linguistic research.
When we analyse a statement, we find a number of units arranged in a certain order. Each part of
that statement achieves its communicative function due to the complex of relationships between that
part and the multitude of elements from which it was selected, and also due to complex of relationships
with the other parts of the statement.
The relationships between each element of the statement and the elements of the group from which
it was selected are called
relationships between words
component and the other components of a statement are called
Therefore, any language knows two ways of organising its units: a paradigmatic one, which
translates as selection, and a syntagmatic one, which is reflected in the arrangement in a certain
3.Statement and linguistic structure (relationships)
The central issue of syntax is both the
components, and especially the determination of the
components of the statement and between which relationships are established.
underlying elements of any communication; achieving a communication necessarily involves the
existence of relationships (Guţu Romalo, 1973: 35). These relationships are the ones that give a
of a statement, then they are
In addition to
statement, which are intrinsic to the statement. They characterise only statements made up of two or
more words in which they connect to each other the components of a statement (Guţu Romalo, 1973:
component units of a statement’s structure (Iordan & Robu, 1978: 546-547). The syntactic relationship
is the internal relationship whose role is to structure the statement and give it the character of an
organised whole that carries information.
As already mentioned, the specificity of the
communication process which impose the
unit. According to the communicative aspect - which is also called assertive, predicative, enunciative -
the base unit of syntax is the statement understood as completed communicative unit. A
finite, relatively autonomous structure, whose syntactic identity is defined by the unit of meaning, by
the unit of structure and by the prosodic unit (Irimia, 2008: 378-379).
While the prosodic unit and the semantic unit are ensured by the conduct of predication, the
structure unit varies according to the specific achievement of predication and the syntactic expansions
that it directs or even conditions.
4.Syntagm – the minimal and maximal unit of the syntactic level
The structure unit of the statement is ensured by incorporating the lexical level of the language
system in the syntactic level through syntactic relationships. The transition of the word from
unit to syntactic term is achieved through
the syntagm (Draşoveanu, 1997: 25-26).
The following example is illustrative:
Ştie pentru că învaţă, / He knows because he learns.
Ştie/(he) knows = lexeme; it has a qualifier (lexical) meaning; it has the meaning of
învaţă/(he) learns = lexeme; it has a qualifier (lexical) meaning; it has the meaning of
pentru că/because= connective; it has no qualifier (lexical) meaning, but a
It is noted that a lexeme becomes
of a syntagm understood as a
from which the content of the terms emanates – the content is an element extrinsic to lexemes; the
relationship also serves as organiser of the terms of the relationship. What the definitions of
coordination and subordination have in common is that they all take into account, one way or the other,
the terms of a relationship (Draşoveanu, 1997: 40). “Syntactic relationships give a statement the
character of an organised whole: they place the components of a statement in different ways one from
the others” (Draşoveanu, 1997: 45).
If we generalise, we can say that every syntagm is based on a relationship, it is generated by a
The term syntagm has a broader meaning that includes any binary group of elements united by the
relationship of dependence (Saussure, 1971: 127). Three meanings are of interest in syntax (Iordan,
a)a group of words that forms, in a given statement, a unit of meaning and has the role of
b)combinations of two parts of clause (including or excluding the subject + predicate group)
c)any binary syntactic group consisting of a determining and a determined part, regardless of the
complexity of the terms.
According to the last meaning, a statement is a syntagm made up of terms which are also syntagms
whose terms are also syntagms, and so on, and the components of a statement are a chain of syntagms.
This concept develops Ferdinand de Saussure’s ideas.
As regards the concept of
Along with the part of clause, the clause and the sentence, the
authors to be one of the syntax units. In Sinteze de limbă română. Sintaxa (Syntheses of the Romanian
unit between the clause and the word/part of clause, which should not be defined in terms of subject
and predicate, but in terms of coordination and subordination relationships between the components of
a statement, excluding the predicate-subject, predicate-object, predicate-floating predicate
relationships. The author defines
communication, are characterised by a semantically flexible unit whose components are in coordination
and subordination relationships” (Crăciun, 2001: 13). The same author says that the syntagm may
appear as a unit of two terms – simple syntagm - or as a unit of three or more terms – complex
syntagm, specifying that the complex syntagm is made up of several simple syntagms.
In Teze şi antiteze în sintaxa limbii române (Theses and Antitheses in the Syntax of the Romanian
and complete. “
speech which, according to Saussure, requires consecution in the arrangement of consecutive elements
and, thus, binarity.” (Draşoveanu, 1997: 39) The author believes that syntagms phenomenalise as such
– syntagms per se –or in clauses and sentences. Therefore, the
terms and the relationship between them – is the
sentence may be defined in terms of the syntagm – as they are in fact syntagms: a
which the relateme is the verb agreement flective, and a
an inter-clause connective (Draşoveanu, 1997: 34). The syntagm is the general that is particularised
both in clauses and in sentences. From a relational standpoint, a syntagm cannot be inferior to a clause
or a sentence; they are all phenomenalisations of the same general (Draşoveanu, 1997: 32).
Any structure requires a certain number of units or component elements, arranged based on
relationships and characterised by a specific functionality.
falling within the definition of the dynamics of a syntactic structure. Relationships are established
between units and the study of relationships reveals the typology of syntactic units (Diaconescu, 1989:
Syntactic relationships are connected to the combinations of words into syntactic units, but we
cannot say that these – the syntactic relationships –may be found in all combinations of words; there
are two types of exceptions in this regard: the category of non-notional words and the category of
words that includes words with semantic information and those occurring in free combinations of
words (Iordan, Robu, 1978: 553), but belong to different groups of words in a clause, a sentence or a
text (Dimitriu, 2002: 1127-1129).
From our point of view, syntactical relationships concern the grammatical relationships existing
between two terms. The
syntactic level; it is a separate independent entity, a linguistic sign objectively equipped with
element that puts in antinomy two other meanings which are non-relational, for they are lexical
meanings. The expression of a relationship consists not only of connectives, but also of relational
idea, because “relational flectives and connectives are at the same level that they share in a different
way, and the proportion causes the degree of analytism/synthetism of the language”. D.D. Draşoveanu
named these two elements of expression -
between a relational meaning and a relateme” (Draşoveanu, 1997: 28-29). The grammatical and non-
direct opposite of lexeme (Neamţu: 2010-2011).
Therefore, by generalising, we will say that the expression of a relationship consists not only of
connectives, but also of flectives (some of them called relational flectives). Connectives and relational
flectives are the last of the inventory of segmented means used to create relationships. Other
suprasegmental means may be added insignificantly (intonation, word order and zero means),
generically known as
In conclusion, in light of what we presented and demonstrated above, a linguistic structure, a
relationship represents the solidarity between a relational meaning (content of the relationship) and a
relateme (expression of the relationship); it is therefore a linguistic sign with expression and content. In
terms of expression, it is part of the chain of speech as a distinct segment with a certain development, a
certain length, which supports the initial statement that while it is fundamental for the
concept to be considered as a set of stable and interdependent structural rules, it is fundamental for the
linguistic structure concept to be considered as a scheme of functional relationships, because the
structure rules and the relationships are structural rules and relationships only if they ensure certain
functions. This means that any minimal unit of a system belongs to that system if it has a function in a
scheme of relationships, and it fulfils such function only if it belongs to a proper system.
- Crăciun, C. (2001). Sinteze de limbă română. Oradea: Sintaxa. p. 13.
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VolumeEpSBS / Volume 15 - WLC 2016