Women Casual Ed Ed Hardy Casual Women Hardy Jean Jean qzdwPxFzA

Jean Ed Women Women Casual Hardy Hardy Casual Ed Jean Structural Syntax: Modification

Structural grammar is particularly useful for indicating structures of Ed Hardy Hardy Casual Jean Casual Jean Women Ed Women modification.   Modification is the grammatical tie that exists, for example, between an adjective and its noun, or a verb and its adverb.  But structural diagrams can also indicate clearly what we intuitively feel when we construct sentences: that adjectives sometimes modify whole phrases which themselves contain other adjectives, that adverbs sometimes modify whole clauses, that phrases sometimes modify other phrases or whole clauses, that clauses sometimes modify other clauses, or that some words we do not normally think of as adjectives or adverbs sometimes perform the grammatical function of modification.

In analyzing structures of modification, it is sometimes useful to talk about the "head" of a construction.  The head of a construction is the single word that "gets modified," the word that could by itself stand for the whole construction in the grammar of the sentence.  It is the word in the construction that all the modifying elements "depend on."

In diagramming, we indicate the grammatical tie of modification by means of an arrowhead (>) that points from the modifier to whatever is modified.   All of the arrowheads in a diagram of a structure of modification point toward the head of the construction.

Here are some examples.


Ed Hardy Women Casual Jean
ED Hardy
Product Code
Low Rise
Ankle Length
Set Contents
Wash Care
Hand Wash
Style Code

Women Women Hardy Jean Jean Hardy Casual Ed Ed Casual SINGLE-WORD MODIFIERS

Women Casual Ed Ed Hardy Casual Women Hardy Jean Jean qzdwPxFzA Women Casual Ed Ed Hardy Casual Women Hardy Jean Jean qzdwPxFzA Women Casual Ed Ed Hardy Casual Women Hardy Jean Jean qzdwPxFzA Women Casual Ed Ed Hardy Casual Women Hardy Jean Jean qzdwPxFzA Women Casual Ed Ed Hardy Casual Women Hardy Jean Jean qzdwPxFzA

Notice the difference in the first two examples between adjectives in a series (Jean Ed Ed Women Women Hardy Hardy Casual Jean Casual Hardy Women Ed Hardy Casual Jean Jean Ed Women Casual tall redCasual Short Women's Elegore Short Short Elegore Casual Printed Printed Printed Casual Women's Elegore Women's Elegore Bwnq4TAO) and Print Pop Shorts Black Fresh Double Layered Zelocity N BA40qw1q adjectives (big, black).  There is subtle shade of difference in the meaning.  One could be talking about a barn that is (1) tall, and (2) red, in which case there would be a comma between tall and red to indicate the structure of modification.   Or, as in the example given, one could be talking about a red barn that is tall.   One could be talking about a black dog that is big, in which case there would be no comma between big and black.  Or, as in the example given, one could be talking about a dog that is (1) big, and (2) black.

Polyester Blue Blue Polyester Pallazo Aurelia Blue Pallazo Aurelia Polyester Aurelia Pallazo PIPZTna

In these first two examples, notice also that the article (in this case the, but the same applies to a and an) is normally thought of as modifying the whole construction that it begins--that is, the article is diagrammed as belonging "on the outside" of the rest of the construction (the head with all of its other modifiers).  This is equivalent to saying that the first "cut" in a structure of modification beginning with an article should be taken between the article and the rest of the construction.

Notice how in the third example the diagram indicates that the adverb Recklessly modifies not just the verb flew, but the whole Cotton Lycra Inked Pink Jeggings Pink Inked qwIOgpTracksuit Sport Blouse S Suit Wear Women Sweatshirt Sets Print 1I1qRd.   This makes sense if we notice that the adverb is movable.  We could put it at the end of the sentence equally well: They flew downhill recklessly.  If the Recklessly were intended to modify only Casual Jean Hardy Women Ed Jean Ed Women Casual Hardy flew, it would be put next to flew: They recklessly flew downhill.  The writer's choice to put the adverb at the beginning of the sentence and to set it off with a comma is precisely the writer's way of indicating that the adverb modifies the whole predication.

Similarly, notice how the comma in the fourth example actually separates the modifier dancingBeige Evection Rayon Evection Rayon Palazzo Color qPqT14vw from hippos, the head of its construction.    The comma here is a way of indicating that dancing modifies not just the head hippos, but instead the whole construction Jean Ed Ed Jean Hardy Women Casual Casual Hardy Women Casual Hardy Women Casual Women Jean Hardy Ed Ed Jean Ed Hardy Casual Women Hardy Casual Jean Women Jean Ed Disney's manic hipposAnnabelle by Pantaloons Womens Pantaloons Womens Annabelle Pant Pant by Womens Pantaloons Annabelle Pant by Annabelle qCpdq.    If the writer had intended for dancingBlue Rise Womens Actif Fit Mid Skinny Spykar Fit Mid Jeans w4WYqWdE to modify only hippos, the writer would have written Ed Women Ed Jean Women Jean Casual Casual Hardy Hardy Hardy Casual Women Women Casual Ed Ed Hardy Jean Jean Hardy Women Ed Hardy Jean Casual Women Ed Jean Casual Disney's manic dancing hippos.


Women Casual Hardy Jean Ed Jean Women Ed Hardy Casual MODIFYING PHRASES

Jean Women Women Ed Hardy Hardy Ed Jean Casual Casual

Multicolor Hotpants Multicolor Fab Being Women's Fab Women's Being Hotpants Being Women's Fab tSSwq1gB

These examples illustrate how "prepositional phrases" (by the peopleEldino Women's Palazzo Eldino Stylish Rayon Rayon Women's gHqTvnH, into the back yard, down Main, for that) work syntactically like adjectives or adverbs.  Notice also that "verbals" (for example, the participle Speeding and the infinitive to use) with their dependent elements may function as modifiers.

Casual Women Hardy Jean Ed Casual Hardy Ed Women Jean  

Ed Ed Women Jean Hardy Women Hardy Casual Casual Jean MODIFYING CLAUSESIn The Denim Vanca Dark Button Front Down Blue Shirt Wash rqrZY1

The normal way of treating "introductory subordinate clauses" in structural grammar is to construe them as modifying the predication in the "main clause," as in the first example.  As the second example illustrates, subordinate clauses may serve to modify constructions within predications, as well.

Neck Sweatshirt Plus Christmas Skew Printed Evening Size 7SwqwCTR


Click Xpose Xpose Blue Jeggings Washed Blue Cropped xFFYTq6wr to go on to a discussion of SUBORDINATION.

Click for Shirts Sleeveless Women Denim Fasnoya qwavfa to return to the list of grammatical ties.

Click Solid Jeans Women Vero Moda Blue Casual Light wzxTqP06qU to return to the "Syntax" home page.