What is the right term for breaking or dividing a sentence into fragments, wherein each fragment still contains a thought/meaning?


Sports can ostracize people/ who are not very good at them./

  • 1
    The smaller sentences are simply called clauses (or fragments). Or do you want to know what is the act of breaking sentences into clauses called? – CinCout May 26 '16 at 10:21
  • I want to know what term is used for those divided clauses (or fragments). I think I heard someone say "natural phrases" before. I just cannot remember well and I am not sure if that's the right term. – Nikkita Marie May 26 '16 at 10:47
  • 3
    The usual term is Parsing. It comes from the Latin word pars, partis, which means (unsurprisingly) 'part'. One parses a sentence to analyze it into its constituents (that's the term for the kind of coherent part you're looking for. When learning classical languages -- where there are no native speakers -- one learned to parse and construe sentences. Parsing is the analysis -- take it apart -- while construing is the synthesis -- put it together -- to show how the meanings connect. Most syntactic tree diagrams are about parsing, and a parser is a kind of NLP program. – John Lawler May 26 '16 at 12:54
  • An example of parsing (the first 7 lines of the Iliad) is available here. – John Lawler May 26 '16 at 12:57
  • The divided clauses you've parsed out are called just that, clauses. – GoldenGremlin Aug 24 '16 at 11:48

The process of splitting up and analysing a sentence grammatically to see how it works is called scanning the sentence. I'm not sure if that's what you mean?

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