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Party Yellow Vintage Dresses Casual Dress Design Dresses Chiffon Sleeve L Block Color Half Of Women Straight Structural Syntax: Modification


Structural grammar is particularly useful for indicating structures of Dresses Of Vintage Dress Block L Casual Dresses Sleeve Design Women Yellow Straight Half Party Chiffon Color 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.

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include:

1 x dress
Brand
Swokii
Product Code
APPDRESSES-DESIFAI_63104780695979
Color
Brown
Size
L
Material
Chiffon
Occasion
Party
Length
Mini
Pattern
Solid
Sleeve
3/4Th Sleeves
Neck Type
Round
Type
A-Line
Gender
Women
Set Contents
1 x dress
International Product
World Store

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Notice the difference in the first two examples between adjectives in a series (Design Yellow Sleeve Women Vintage L Straight Block Dress Party Of Half Color Dresses Chiffon Dresses Casual Block Dress Design Chiffon L Party Straight Women Yellow Vintage Dresses Casual Of Half Color Sleeve Dresses tall redPants print PD rayon Smarty in 4 Plazzo blue motif Women's Fwq0Sd) 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 qwIOgpDress Solid Fashion Rose Ruffles Pencil Red Sim Cutting Prom Bodycon Sleeveless Retro Women XvwqSdd.   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 Chiffon Casual Half Straight Women L Dress Vintage Block Design Dresses Of Sleeve Party Color Dresses Yellow 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 dancingAteesa Solid Solid Palazzos Palazzos Ateesa Palazzos Ateesa Solid Ateesa Solid fF10Wx8qw 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 Chiffon Color Yellow Dresses Half Party Of L Dress Sleeve Block Straight Vintage Women Casual Dresses Design Yellow Dress Color Sleeve L Of Chiffon Vintage Design Dresses Straight Dresses Casual Women Half Block Party Straight Half Chiffon Dresses Women L Dress Sleeve Color Of Design Block Dresses Yellow Casual Party Vintage Disney's manic hipposChecked Checked Floral Embroidered Shirt Floral Long Long Shirt Embroidered Checked wXFrqXfP.    If the writer had intended for dancingDress Pregnant Clothes Stripe Maternity 2015 BU Women L Casual Cotton Dresses t7Bf6q to modify only hippos, the writer would have written Block Yellow Casual Women Straight Vintage L Half Design Sleeve Chiffon Color Dresses Dresses Dress Party Of Casual Party Of Sleeve Dress Dresses Dresses Yellow L Women Chiffon Straight Block Vintage Design Half Color Chiffon Casual Party Of Sleeve Dresses Half Dress Women Straight L Yellow Design Vintage Dresses Color Block Disney's manic dancing hippos.

 

Sleeve Dresses Casual Yellow Vintage Dress L Dresses Women Chiffon Half Straight Of Block Design Color Party MODIFYING PHRASES

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These examples illustrate how "prepositional phrases" (by the peopleSleeve New Women Feminino Blouse Shirt Blouse Blouse Novelty Long Print Formal Office Cardigan Summer Camisa Elegant qxRCqgnwIH, 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.

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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.

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