-1

To (slightly) oversimplify, syntax deals with the ordering of words.

What, on the other hand, deals with the ordering of letters?


EDIT: Some word OTHER THAN spelling, which apparently to SOME people is ALSO neither prescriptive nor descriptive outside of context. Well, to me it almost ALWAYS implies some degree of prescriptivism and so I'm not looking for that word. Even it you think it is the solution to this question, I'm changing the question to exclude it. It's not the word I'm looking for.


EDIT 2: Okay, people, you're wayyyy overthinking this. (This is why I don't go on SE much; people tend to be over-specific...) It isn't at all unclear what I'm asking. It's simple: what word, other than spelling, serves the same purpose as the word syntax, but for the ordering of letters rather than the ordering of words?

closed as unclear what you're asking by Hot Licks, JEL, Brian Hooper, user66974, Centaurus Oct 27 '15 at 23:43

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 4
    spelling. – Jim Oct 22 '15 at 4:03
  • 1
    The only word that I know of that fits the description you've asked is orthography. – Le Sunstrike Oct 22 '15 at 22:12
  • 1
    @SarahofGaia- Spelling, outside of context does not have any prescriptive or descriptive meaning either. For example did I spell "yowlkawolitz" correctly or not? You don't know. All you know is I put the letters in that order- i.e. I spelled it- "y-o-w-l-k-a-w-o-l-i-t-z" – Jim Oct 22 '15 at 22:31
  • 2
    By the very fact that you can say "the 'correct' spelling of X" implies that spelling is outside the notion of correctness. In a given context I can spell things correctly or incorrectly just as I can create a syntactically correct expression or have a syntax error. – Jim Oct 22 '15 at 22:36
  • 1
    Would you accept "such a word does not exist"? (What purpose would such a word serve? Who talks, or needs to talk, about "the orders of letters in a word" in a context other than spelling?) – Hellion Oct 28 '15 at 17:16
1

Depends what you mean by letters. Phonology is the study of the individual sounds making up words. Orthography is the study of the letters on a page, including how words are spelled and written. Morphology is the study of the components making up a word (like prefixes and suffixes and such), and how they can be arranged. All are analogous in some way to syntax.

  • I mean letters, not sounds, so it wouldn't be a question of phonology; I've never heard letter being used to refer to sounds, only of the written form. And, orthography has more to do with a prescriptive sense of things. Also, morphology is the study of the internal makeup of words; what I'm looking for is a word that refers to the internal makeup of words, not the study of said makeups; see my comments above; that should clear things up. – SarahofGaia Oct 22 '15 at 22:15
  • Let's not forget typography. – Hot Licks Oct 26 '15 at 19:51
  • No, because typography is about the form, not the ordering. Plus, it's about the form of the characters, and thus does not necessarily always involve letters; it could be numbers, symbols, etc. as well. – SarahofGaia Oct 27 '15 at 3:10
  • Typography is "the design, or selection, of letter forms to be organized into words and sentences to be disposed in blocks of type as printing upon a page. Typography and the typographer who practices it may also be concerned with other, related matters—the selection of paper, the choice of ink, the method of printing, the design of the binding if the product at hand is a book—but the word without modifier most usually denotes the activities and concerns of those most involved in and concerned with the determination of the appearance of the printed page." – SarahofGaia Oct 27 '15 at 3:12

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.