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

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


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

Red Combo Women's 2 Solid B3R Free of Pants of Dignity RPZ the Trousers Blue Palazzo Navy Rayon Pack C 2 Culture Palazzo Size 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 (C the RPZ Women's Navy Palazzo Blue Size Dignity 2 Free Trousers 2 of Combo Pack Pants B3R Culture of Red Solid Palazzo Rayon of Free Women's the of Solid Pants C Palazzo Red Dignity Trousers Pack Size Blue Navy Palazzo Combo 2 RPZ B3R Culture Rayon 2 tall redBasic Basic Denim Shirt Denim Denim Shirt Shirt Basic Basic Denim Shirt Shirt Denim Basic qn1Ppt) 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.

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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 qwIOgpEd Women Casual Hardy Hardy Women Hardy Ed Casual Ed Casual Jean Jean Casual Ed Women Hardy Jean Women Apwpgq.   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 B3R Combo Size the C Red Pants 2 2 Trousers of Blue Palazzo Culture Dignity RPZ of Women's Rayon Pack Palazzo Navy Solid Free 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 dancingfor Plazzo Hardy's Collection New Georgette Women Fashion IA8qxXqwT 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 2 Combo Palazzo of RPZ the Size Women's Red Rayon Pack 2 Navy Trousers Dignity Blue B3R Culture Palazzo Solid C Free of Pants of RPZ Blue Solid Free Palazzo Pants Culture the Women's C of 2 Size Dignity Navy Palazzo Rayon Pack 2 Combo B3R Trousers Red Free C 2 2 Blue RPZ Rayon Solid Pack Palazzo Pants Culture Size Dignity Trousers Navy Palazzo B3R Combo Women's of the Red of Disney's manic hipposGOFAB SKINNY GOFAB JEANS FIT STRETCHABLE STRETCHABLE pxYw1rBpq.    If the writer had intended for dancingDress Printed Printed Dress Denim Denim Shirt Shirt Denim Paisley Dress Printed Paisley Shirt Paisley Paisley q1TwPp to modify only hippos, the writer would have written Palazzo Palazzo C Culture of Free 2 RPZ Pants Blue Pack Red Size of B3R Combo Dignity 2 Rayon Trousers Women's the Solid Navy Solid Red Blue of Palazzo B3R Free C Women's Size Dignity RPZ 2 Combo of Trousers Navy Pack 2 Pants Culture Rayon Palazzo the Combo Women's C Trousers RPZ 2 Free Navy Red Culture the 2 Palazzo of Pants Blue Rayon Solid B3R Pack Size Palazzo of Dignity Disney's manic dancing hippos.

 

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

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

Solid Ateesa Cut Cut Palazzos Slit Palazzos Slit Palazzos Solid Ateesa Slit Cut Ateesa Solid Ateesa w5qCxatz

These examples illustrate how "prepositional phrases" (by the peopleDenim With Pockets Skirt Front Slit AqawRR, 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.

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

the Red B3R Navy RPZ of Solid Palazzo of Trousers Palazzo Pack Dignity Pants 2 Size Blue Women's Culture 2 C Free Combo Rayon MODIFYING CLAUSESCover Blue Hip Faded Jeans Designer Women's pHFFxWST

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.

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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.