Section 3: Recognizing Key Markers

To effectively analyze grammatical concepts in context, you must develop your ability to recognize key markers as part of your analytical process, as well as your ability to apply formal and functional tests to help argue for your analysis.

Markers include the appearance of specific words, words in specific combinations, forms in relationship, and the specific placement of forms in the structure of a sentence. For example, you might recognize a derivational morpheme as a key marker for a word FORM, or you might recognize an inflectional morpheme as a key marker for certain non-finite verb phrases, or key words (subordinators, relatives, interrogatives, or THAT) as key markers for dependent clauses.

Once you’ve recognized a marker (or set of markers), you can verify your analysis using simple tests, which we will discuss in more detail in the Applying Analytic Tests page. More importantly, we will discuss KEY MARKERS in detail throughout Analyzing Grammar in Context, especially in Sections 4-7.