from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of or relating to the relationship between linguistic units in a construction or sequence, as between the (n) and adjacent sounds in not, ant, and ton. The identity of a linguistic unit within a language is described by a combination of its syntagmatic and its paradigmatic relations.

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  • adj. Of or pertaining to a syntagma

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. related as members of a syntagma


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

French syntagmatique, from Greek suntagmatikos, arranged, put in order, from suntagma, suntagmat-, arrangement, syntactic unit; see syntagma.


  • Exteriorizing thought, the sonnet de-psychologizes it, materializes it, alienates it from the thinker as subject by placing any given sonnet about the beloved other in a syntagmatic relation to all other thoughts about other beloved others.

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  • He'd already booted up and was stealing a quick glance at Maestra's e-mail, as if overnight it might have undergone a syntagmatic rearrangement, or he, after a night's rest, might find in it a nugget of information that had escaped his earlier scrutiny.

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  • Instead of inferring the structure of mind in general from the structure of its large-scale causal consequences (language, cultural artifacts, and so on), what it suggests is that we might infer the structure of particular minds, i.e., personalities, from their immediate causal consequences, the syntagmatic spoken chain that makes up the speech of each indi - vidual person.


  • The latter has ordinarily been supplied by the flow of events as narrated, a procedure which has lately been labelled “syntagmatic.”


  • Now is the time to regenerate one's sources and to look again at the aesthetic structure of art-not in terms of Koonsian economics-but closer to the point of transmission where art enters into our history as a syntagmatic signifier offering, instead of investment anxiety, a kind of solace where the syntactical transformation of material, wrought by hand, eye, and mind, again becomes a significant force in balancing the virtual chaos of the present.


  • Roland Barthes has described the paradigmatic and syntagmatic ele - ments in 'the garment' system.

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  • A tree is a more paradigmatic symbol and grass more syntagmatic anyway, but grass is more complex in the way that it is not simply linear but it will be able to construct a complex network.

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  • Even with a syntagmatic approach, a researcher can only hope that the data's validity holds until he / she gets a chance to make a conclusion.

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  •  metonymic tactics, for its outrageous inventions tend to mimic the mimetic, to copy the realistic modes of representation, to link the signifiers it invents or appropriates into syntagmatic strings whose forms perform and formulate new formulae of narrative topology: structures of connection and disconnection which track like paths the trajectories and pathos of sentences until now incapable of utterance;

    "Mimetic Fiction"

  • "All signs enter into complex syntagmatic and paradigmatic contrasts and oppositions; therefore, their place in the web of a concrete text and the network of an abstract system is decisive as to which aspects will predominate in a given context at a particular moment, a fact which will lead directly to the problem of levels, so familiar to linguistics -- being an absolute prerequisite for any typology." [

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