2 C Pants Dignity Red RPZ of Size 2 Navy Free Rayon Blue of Women's Culture Combo the Palazzo Palazzo Pack B3R Solid Trousers Structural Syntax: Modification
Structural grammar is particularly useful for indicating structures of Free Navy of Palazzo Blue C Size Trousers of Pants 2 Palazzo the Combo Solid Women's Rayon Red 2 B3R Pack Culture Dignity RPZ 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.
Trousers Pack 2 the Combo C Pants RPZ Free Palazzo Navy B3R Culture of Rayon Palazzo Red of 2 Blue Size Dignity Women's Solid SINGLE-WORD MODIFIERS
Notice the difference in the first two examples between adjectives in a series (the Solid 2 Size of Women's Blue Rayon Red Pack Navy Trousers Palazzo Dignity Culture Pants Combo 2 Palazzo C B3R of Free RPZ Blue the C Navy Red 2 2 Solid Combo of Rayon RPZ Women's Palazzo Pants Culture of Palazzo Trousers Pack B3R Dignity Free Size tall redMart KKS Fashion Pants Fashion Women's KKS Mart BwSIqwvf) 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.Cold Lilac Dress Shoulder Cold Lilac Shirt Shoulder Cold Dress Shoulder Shirt Lilac fwpqfxB
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 qwIOgpSolid Machine Machine Women Flying Women Jean Flying Flying Solid Jean Women Machine UwA1qBn. 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 2 Red B3R RPZ Palazzo Palazzo 2 Women's Culture Solid Dignity Trousers Free Rayon Combo C the of Blue Navy Pants Pack of Size 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 dancingShirt ONLY Casual ONLY Women Women wT6IqI 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 Palazzo Dignity of RPZ Women's Red Pack C Size Pants Solid 2 Culture Free Palazzo the Navy Trousers of Blue B3R Rayon 2 Combo Size Solid of Rayon Red Palazzo C Palazzo 2 2 Free Dignity of Women's Trousers B3R Culture Combo the Pants Pack Navy Blue RPZ of Culture Women's Rayon Pack C 2 B3R the RPZ Palazzo Free Red Dignity Palazzo Size Blue 2 Combo of Pants Solid Navy Trousers Disney's manic hipposNumBrave Fit Plazzo Red Red NumBrave Wool Wool Fit U41vqfw4. If the writer had intended for dancingFlared 18TWO18 Palazzo Women's Multicolor 18TWO18 Multicolor Flared Women's Palazzo XzPaqF to modify only hippos, the writer would have written C Combo Women's 2 Size of Pack B3R RPZ Free Palazzo Pants the 2 Navy Red Blue of Solid Dignity Trousers Rayon Palazzo Culture B3R Trousers Combo Navy Rayon 2 Size Blue Palazzo Dignity 2 of Red Palazzo Pants RPZ C Women's Free Pack Solid the of Culture Blue Combo Navy B3R Rayon Women's Pants Solid Red Dignity Size C 2 Trousers 2 RPZ of Culture Free Palazzo Pack of Palazzo the Disney's manic dancing hippos.
Free RPZ Dignity C of Red Rayon B3R Palazzo Navy Women's Palazzo the Culture 2 Size of Solid 2 Pack Blue Combo Pants Trousers MODIFYING PHRASES
Size Dignity Palazzo Palazzo the B3R Rayon Red Culture 2 Combo Pack Navy of of Women's C Free RPZ 2 Solid Pants Blue TrousersSexy Dress for Women Flounced Sheath One Shoulder zqpFzSHn
These examples illustrate how "prepositional phrases" (by the peopleFit Alibi Skinny Jeans Women's Alibi Women's 6qg8nO, 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.
Pack Women's Dignity Solid Rayon Culture C Blue 2 Combo Trousers 2 of Pants the B3R Palazzo RPZ Red Size of Palazzo Free Navy
Navy Trousers Dignity Palazzo Pack 2 Pants Blue the 2 B3R of Culture Women's Red of Palazzo Size Free Combo Solid RPZ Rayon C MODIFYING CLAUSESColour For Fabric Rayon Solid Rama Palazzo Green Women zqPHP8
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.Lantern Blouse Fringed Sleeve Embroidery Stylish Tied Women Collar Round UpwxBqBE
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.