Academic journal article International Journal of Linguistics

Syntactic Errors in Descriptive Paragraphs by Native Indonesian-Speaking Students of English

Academic journal article International Journal of Linguistics

Syntactic Errors in Descriptive Paragraphs by Native Indonesian-Speaking Students of English

Article excerpt

Abstract

Syntax was very necessary to develop by the students in learning a language. This study aimed to identify the kinds and manners of syntactic errors about the English phrases in the students' descriptive paragraphs. The English phrases dealt with categories and functions. The categories included noun phrase, verb phrase, adjective phrase, adverb phrase, and prepositional phrase, and the functions included subject, predicate, object, complement, and adjunct. The research findings indicated that the native Indonesian-speaking students of English at Faculty of Letters UMI Makassar made 16 kinds of syntactic errors, such as identifier, be auxiliary, do auxiliary, word form, word class, and passive form. The findings also indicated that they made 18 manners of syntactic errors, such as misuse of verb form, omission of identifier, misuse of singular noun, omission of be, misuse of word order, misuse of identifier, and misuse of prepositional phrase as a subject. It was concluded that the phrases were the main problems in learning English because there were different strings of words from their Indonesian native language. The implications were that the syntactic structure became the parts of discussion in the teaching and learning process.

Keywords: Syntactic errors, Phrases, Descriptive paragraphs

Muhammad Basri D (Corresponding author)

Department of English, Faculty of Letters, UMI Makassar,

South Sulawesi, Indonesia

Tel: 62-813-4365-4958 E-mail: basri_fs@yahoo.com

Andi Tenri Ampa

Department of English Education, Faculty of Teachers Training and Education,

Unismuh Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia

Tel: 62-852-5500-4490 E-mail: atenri59@yahoo.com

Junaid

Department of English Education, Faculty of Teachers Training and Education,

Unismuh Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia

Tel: 62-853-9763-1515 E-mail: jhuned.buesman@yahoo.com

Received: Sep. 12, 2013 Accepted: September 24, 2013 Published: October 25, 2013

doi:10.5296/ijl.v5i5.4455 URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v5i5.4455

1. Introduction

Syntax is one of the structural linguistics in which the students need to develop in learning English. It is one of the important subjects for making them capable to speak and write accurately. Its areas cover the English phrases and clauses. Generally, the English phrases consist of five types: noun phrase (NP), verb phrase (VP), adjective phrase (Adj P), adverb phrase (Adv P), and prepositional phrase (Prep P). Then, the English clauses include independent and dependent clauses.

The scope of syntax also covers the analyses. Those analyses might be done by using bracketed, immediate constituent, and tree diagram ways. Each of these has a definite use to make the students understand for identifying and classifying the syntactic categories with their functions. Thus, syntax needs knowledge and skills.

It is important to know that the entry behaviors of syntax are grammar and morphology. The students' problems to achieve the performance of this subject will be found if they do not have basic competence of the given behaviors. Then, for the purpose of getting a good command of the English clauses, it is necessary for them to be familiar with the English phrases as the basic competence because the construction of clauses must be filled by the definite categories of phrases.

The students' competence of English syntax can assist them to write essays. The problems to organize ideas in writing or even in speaking can be overcome because this sort of competence functions as a guide to put the words in correct positions. Therefore, syntactic errors that are found in the students' paragraphs can be made use of the developments of instructional materials from the views of related subjects.

In this study, the material objects include all phrases that are used in the students' descriptive paragraphs. The results of their paragraphs are examined whether or not they contain syntactic errors about the constructions of phrases. …

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