Balancing the Sword - A comprehensive study guide to life's manual
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Definition of word.

syntactic cueing system
syn-tac-tic cue-ing sys-tem

The syntactic cueing system is one of the main four language cueing systems. This technique is also known as the grammatical cueing system. The syntactic cueing system is based upon syntax. Syntax, in language arts, refers to the orderly system by which phrases, words, and other grammatical elements are constructed.

Languages possess predictable patterns. We can decode what a word might mean based upon where the word was placed within the sentence. Readers who can quickly identify how words function (e.g., noun, pronoun, verb, adverb, adjective, proposition, conjunction, and interjection) and who are attentive to punctuation marks possess an advantage in recognizing syntactic cues.

Sentences which begin following a typical structure hint towards which or what type of word or phrase may complete the sentence. For example, the phrase "Praise ye the LORD" appears twenty-five times in the Book of Psalms in the King James version. As a result, a familiar readers of psalms can predict that the word LORD will follow when he begins to read "Praise ye the...." Syntactic cueing systems increase our reading speed. A common sentence structure begins with the subject animated by a verb regarding an object. Such a sentence would normally include a noun phrase for the subject, a verb phrase for the verb, and another noun phrase for the object. (Little Tom quickly ran to the store.)

One of the challenges presented by older English construction (as used in the Authorized Version, the Young's Literal Translation, or the Geneva Bible) is that modern readers cannot as easily identify and predict the syntax. For example, Matthew 23:1 in the KJV possesses an oddly sequenced construction where the subject (viz., Jesus) is placed between the verb (i.e., spake) and object (viz., the multitude):  "Then spake Jesus to the multitude...." The New King James translated this verse more smoothly using the subject-verb-object format: "Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes...."

See cueing systems.

Author: Allen B. Wolfe

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