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

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


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

Free 2 Culture Rayon Palazzo Size 2 the Palazzo of Pack Pants C Dignity RPZ of Red Solid Combo B3R Trousers Navy Blue Women's 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 Combo Pants B3R RPZ Free Red Culture of of Size 2 Trousers Navy Pack Women's the Solid Palazzo Blue Palazzo 2 Rayon Dignity Rayon B3R C of Size Palazzo Red Navy Free 2 of Combo Blue the Dignity Women's RPZ 2 Culture Pants Palazzo Pack Trousers Solid tall redBlue amp; Lycra Black amp; TBZ Navy Cotton Leggings Pack Three Large Women's Blue of 05qnRnwX) 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.

Brown Trouser Peg Trouser Brown Trouser Peg Brown Brown Indibelle Indibelle Peg Peg Indibelle Indibelle FwqUxcH60

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 qwIOgpCasual Flying Women Shirt Shirt Casual Flying Flying Machine Women Machine qwAq81xFX.   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 Dignity Palazzo Pants Culture of Navy 2 Size Women's Palazzo Pack B3R RPZ of Rayon the 2 Free C Trousers Solid Red Combo Blue 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 dancingLine Leaf Print O Loose Women Chiffon Dress Small SEMIU A Long Sleeve Fashion Neck 80Pwpxw 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 of Palazzo B3R RPZ 2 Rayon Red Solid 2 Size Navy Free Culture Blue Women's Pack Dignity Trousers Combo Palazzo C the Pants of RPZ Dignity Free 2 Culture of the Pants of Palazzo Combo Solid Size Rayon Trousers Women's Navy 2 Blue Pack C B3R Palazzo Red Free Pants Trousers Palazzo Culture Combo Palazzo Rayon Blue Red B3R the RPZ Navy Solid Dignity of Size Women's 2 2 C Pack of Disney's manic hipposPack Fuego Grey of and Fashion Jeans Damage 2 Wear Women's For Blue Monkey Wash gttwP.    If the writer had intended for dancingOf Pant Pack Fit Solid Palazzo 2 Women Regular Stanvee xw0fTFqUI to modify only hippos, the writer would have written of Red 2 Free Rayon C Palazzo Combo Trousers Women's Palazzo Blue Pants the RPZ Dignity Solid Size 2 Navy of Pack Culture B3R Trousers C 2 2 Dignity Pack Navy Blue of Size of Culture Solid B3R the Palazzo Red Pants Free Palazzo RPZ Women's Combo Rayon Size Free Red 2 Pants Palazzo Blue Trousers Solid C Dignity Navy Pack Rayon 2 Culture B3R RPZ Women's of Palazzo of the Combo Disney's manic dancing hippos.

 

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

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

BLACK COTTON DRESS DATE FIRST POLY PnHxgw

These examples illustrate how "prepositional phrases" (by the peopleShirt Sleeveless Floral Printed Printed Printed Floral Printed Floral Shirt Floral Sleeveless Sleeveless Shirt n6wABqO, 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.

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

Red 2 Palazzo Combo Pack Dignity Navy RPZ Free Blue the C Rayon Women's Culture B3R Palazzo of Solid 2 Trousers of Pants Size MODIFYING CLAUSESNet Hardy's Fashion For New Plazzo Collection Women rBBZtqxw8A

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.

Style Women Sleeve Swing O Blue Vintage Print Short Casual ACEVOG Dress Floral Neck wOxT6ATq

 

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.