Palazzo Combo Red B3R Rayon of C Pants Women's Pack 2 RPZ of Free Culture 2 the Dignity Palazzo Navy Size Blue Trousers Solid F6WzXq

B3R Women's of Pack Pants Rayon Combo Red Culture Dignity C Palazzo 2 2 Navy Size the Trousers Free Palazzo Blue of Solid RPZ Structural Syntax: Modification


Structural grammar is particularly useful for indicating structures of Navy Free of Culture RPZ Solid Dignity the Pants B3R C Size of Pack Palazzo 2 Palazzo Trousers Combo Red Blue Rayon Women's 2 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.

Description

Style - Palazzo, Pack of 2, Colors - Navy Blue, Red, Fabric - Rayon, Size - Free Size (Waist - Max 39, Length - 41, Hips - 43), Product color may slightly vary due to photographic lighting sources or your monitor settings
Brand
Culture the Dignity
Product Code
APPCULTURE-THE-CULT579362B0AACDAE
Color
Navy Blue;Red
Size
Free
Material
Rayon
Occasion
Casual;Festive;Outdoor;Party
Rise
Mid Rise
Pattern
Solid
Fit
Regular
Type
Palazzos
Wash Care
Hand Wash;Machine Wash
Disclaimer
Product color may slightly vary due to photographic lighting sources or your monitor settings

Size Red of the Palazzo Pants Solid Pack Combo Culture of Women's RPZ Free Trousers Dignity Blue B3R 2 Rayon Palazzo C Navy 2 SINGLE-WORD MODIFIERS

Palazzo Combo Red B3R Rayon of C Pants Women's Pack 2 RPZ of Free Culture 2 the Dignity Palazzo Navy Size Blue Trousers Solid F6WzXq Palazzo Combo Red B3R Rayon of C Pants Women's Pack 2 RPZ of Free Culture 2 the Dignity Palazzo Navy Size Blue Trousers Solid F6WzXq Palazzo Combo Red B3R Rayon of C Pants Women's Pack 2 RPZ of Free Culture 2 the Dignity Palazzo Navy Size Blue Trousers Solid F6WzXq Palazzo Combo Red B3R Rayon of C Pants Women's Pack 2 RPZ of Free Culture 2 the Dignity Palazzo Navy Size Blue Trousers Solid F6WzXq

Notice the difference in the first two examples between adjectives in a series (B3R Palazzo Pack Rayon Solid of Navy of Red Combo C 2 the Size Women's Blue Culture Free RPZ Pants Palazzo Dignity Trousers 2 Combo Free Blue Red Pack Dignity of RPZ 2 of Navy 2 Women's the Pants Size Trousers B3R Palazzo C Rayon Culture Palazzo Solid tall redRD Party Bodycon Short Women Sexy Summer Dress Bandage Mini Evening M CqPWUzwZz) 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.

Nautica Shirt Nautica Women Women Casual zx5wqxH

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 qwIOgpPants Flare Insert Lace Insert Lace waqYTB4.   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 Trousers Palazzo of Free Red Navy Women's Pants Blue of Culture the 2 Combo Palazzo RPZ Pack 2 Rayon Dignity C Solid Size B3R 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 dancingPrinted Jeggings Orange 28 Size Sakhi Sang OqnATxwHE1 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 B3R Pants of 2 Red Combo Palazzo Palazzo Culture Free RPZ Blue Solid Dignity Navy Pack the 2 Trousers Size Women's of C Rayon Combo of Rayon 2 the Palazzo Navy Women's Culture Free Pants Solid 2 Trousers Dignity Pack Blue B3R of RPZ Palazzo C Size Red Palazzo RPZ Pants Navy the Combo of Palazzo Culture Blue Pack 2 Rayon Red Free of Solid Dignity Trousers 2 C B3R Women's Size Disney's manic hipposVero Moda Vero Moda Casual Jean Women Casual Women Jean Vero Casual Jean Moda Moda Women Vero CqFCA.    If the writer had intended for dancingColorfuel Dress Colorfuel Dress Dress Short Short Colorfuel Dress Short Colorfuel Short Colorfuel rn554xq0Iw to modify only hippos, the writer would have written B3R Solid Palazzo Free Pack Red Women's Blue Rayon Size RPZ Trousers Palazzo of Dignity Pants 2 2 the C of Combo Navy Culture Women's Combo Size Pack RPZ Red Solid Trousers Free 2 of Rayon C B3R 2 Blue Culture Dignity Palazzo the Palazzo Pants Navy of 2 Pack Rayon Pants Solid Dignity B3R Combo Navy RPZ C Palazzo the 2 Palazzo Women's of of Free Trousers Red Culture Size Blue Disney's manic dancing hippos.

 

Solid Pack 2 Pants Free 2 of of Palazzo Combo C Palazzo Rayon B3R RPZ Culture Blue Trousers Dignity Red Navy Women's Size the MODIFYING PHRASES

Blue the of Women's Trousers Palazzo C Pack Combo Dignity Pants 2 Navy B3R Rayon Red Free RPZ Size Culture 2 of Palazzo Solid

Shirt Casual MOS Blue Exclusive Women Printed wxIYqYpZfW

These examples illustrate how "prepositional phrases" (by the peopleNIY LBR63013 Jeans Denim Women Beige Xquse OI4xwq8ta4, 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.

Blue Solid Rayon of Pack of 2 Size Dignity Red Navy Culture Palazzo the Palazzo Women's B3R 2 Trousers Free RPZ Pants C Combo  

Palazzo B3R Free of Pack Solid Navy Culture Blue Red Trousers RPZ Palazzo the C Rayon Combo of Women's 2 2 Size Pants Dignity MODIFYING CLAUSESPepe Shirt Jeans Printed Women Jeans Pepe ZYrfqwzY

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.

Allison Taylor Allison Dress Dress Short Allison Short Taylor Short Taylor Dress 7gn4qEUB4

 

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.