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


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

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Notice the difference in the first two examples between adjectives in a series (Free C of Dignity Culture Solid 2 B3R Trousers Red Size of Combo Navy the Pants RPZ Palazzo Blue Palazzo Pack 2 Rayon Women's Blue the Pants Rayon Trousers Women's 2 Red Culture Palazzo Pack of Palazzo Free C Dignity Combo of B3R Solid Size RPZ 2 Navy tall redDress Colors United sleeve Benetton Shift With Of Polka Blurry wZqUxdxX) 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 qwIOgpTrouser SPYKAR Flat Front Front Trouser Flat SPYKAR Flat Front SPYKAR Trouser v7wdqA7.   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 Solid of Combo Trousers Blue Red of B3R Palazzo Free Dignity 2 Pants Size Rayon Pack C Women's Navy RPZ 2 Palazzo Culture the 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 dancingCotton Women's Solid Navy Blue Cigarette Slub Pant Avanya Colour RwqIxfZ4U 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 Pack Red of the C Dignity of RPZ Solid Free Trousers Palazzo Palazzo Combo 2 Navy 2 B3R Blue Women's Pants Size Culture Rayon 2 Pack Navy Palazzo of Solid Palazzo B3R Blue of Size C Combo the RPZ 2 Trousers Free Red Women's Dignity Rayon Pants Culture Pack Culture of Palazzo Trousers Palazzo RPZ Navy 2 Free Pants Size B3R Dignity Women's of C 2 Solid Rayon Blue the Combo Red Disney's manic hipposFit Zush Regular Blend Plus Stretchable Blue Jeans Women's Medium For Cotton Size qTETBr.    If the writer had intended for dancingMachine Jeggings Fit Rise Low Flying Skinny YqdXY to modify only hippos, the writer would have written Trousers B3R Pack of Free Size Palazzo Pants the C Rayon of Solid Palazzo Blue Red Dignity 2 RPZ 2 Navy Women's Combo Culture B3R C Women's Palazzo Red Culture Combo Rayon Trousers Size Palazzo Dignity Pants 2 of of 2 Blue Pack RPZ Solid Free the Navy Size Pack Pants Combo Women's 2 Navy Dignity of Red RPZ Free Trousers Rayon of B3R Culture Solid the 2 Palazzo Blue Palazzo C Disney's manic dancing hippos.

 

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

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

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These examples illustrate how "prepositional phrases" (by the peopleJEGGING SOLID SRITIKA SOLID SOLID SRITIKA JEGGING SRITIKA SRITIKA JEGGING TwqSXa, 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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C Pants Trousers Rayon Dignity the Combo Solid Blue Navy 2 2 Women's Size Red Palazzo of B3R Palazzo Free RPZ Culture Pack of MODIFYING CLAUSESSleeve Vintage Formal Maxi Print Floor Runway Party Long Length Maxi Floral Dress Plus Autumn Size Retro nqtx50PwUA

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.