Ling journal #6

Samantha Fummerton
Linguistics 210
T Th 10:00
Journal #6
How is this description of the syntax of English sentences different from or similar to what you
have studied in other classes (K-12 English, college writing)?
Explain in your own words how hierarchical structure helps make linear language a better
reflection of thought than simply adding words together (word + word + word, etc. = meaning).
When I was in grade school, I learned about grammar and syntax in the simplest
way possible. I was drilled with rule after rule about nouns, verbs, and adjectives, then
about which goes where. It was a lot like simply adding words together. There wasn’t a
ton of thought coming from the sentences. In middle school, we brushed over the topic of
grammar doing “warm-up sentences” every morning to “get our brains working”. We
never learned specifics about syntax and grammar. In high school, we looked more in
depth into sentence structure and syntax to where I felt like I had a pretty good grip on it.
My first term of college I took Writing 135 and was introduced a little more to sentence
structure, and more about if paragraphs had meaning once all the sentences were put
Entering Linguistics 210, I though I had an ok handle on sentence structure and
syntax, but boy was I wrong. I never fully understood syntax until structural trees were
introduced to me. I thought “Ahh! I can see the light!” After many practice sentences, it
all finally clicked! Everything started making a lot more sense, and felt a lot easier.
Knowing the hierarchical structure really does help make linear language a way better
reflection of thought.