|The Structure of English Language - Introduction|
This is a guide to the structure of the English language. Teachers of English and English as a second language may use it for reference. This text is recommended for advanced users of English.
We can study the structure of language in a variety of ways. For example, we can study
There is no universally accepted model for doing this, but some models use the notion of a hierarchy, and this may prove fruitful for you.
The most basic units of meaning are simple words (e.g.: dog, yes and swim) or the elements of complex words (e.g.: un- -happi- and -ness in unhappiness). These basic elements are called morphemes, and the study of how they are combined in words is morphology.
The study of how words are organised into phrases, clauses and sentences is usually referred to as syntax.
A longer stretch of language is known as discourse, the study of its structure as discourse analysis.
This hierarchy is partly explained by the table below. The right hand column should be read upwards, in the direction of the arrow.
The following table shows a three-part model of the structure of English.