Syntax semantics Pragmatics
What are we talking about? Semantics is a topic that has been much discussed last year and still remains an important issue (although it’s becoming somewhat of a buzzword. Hype or reality?). This post is not aimed at discussing the value or importance of semantics as such, but rather its general framework and its application to hypertext documents and web sites in general, such as Semantic Keyword research.
Semiotics is commonly known as the general science of signs. Semiotics is composed of three aspects: a syntactical aspect (syntax or syntactics), a semantic aspect (semantics) and a pragmatic aspect (pragmatics).
Different forms of data exchange are constituted of signs or combination of signs (language, code, non-verbal signs — among others). Syntax defines a set of rules to be applied when exhanging data, thus “the relationship of signs to what they stand for”. Breaking these rules results in a syntactical disturbance. An example of this type of disturbance in human data processing are spelling errors.
For example, using an element spelled instead of. But also ommiting a closing tag on empty elements such as . The related DTD (Document Type Definition) or more recently a Schema (XML) contains the rules that define the correct spelling or application of (the signs that constitute) an element (note: in XML the number of elements are unlimited).
Semantics applies to the meaning of data. When exchanging data sender and receiver
will have to assign the same meaning to particular (combinations of) signs,
thus “the relation of signs to the objects to which the signs are applicable”. If this condition is not respected a semantic disturbance will occur. An example
of the above mentioned disturbance is a discussion between two individuals not being able to understand each other.
Little Words: Their History, Phonology, Syntax, Semantics, Pragmatics, and Acquisition (Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics)
Book (Georgetown University Press)