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Christmas Print Panel 50s Lace Dress Swing Structural Syntax: Modification


Structural grammar is particularly useful for indicating structures of Christmas Lace 50s Swing Dress Panel Print 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

Product Description:

The short sleeve vintage dress featuring lace panel;Christmas element print and high waist;cute and dreamy design;you can match a long coat for a different look
Our Size(cm) Fit US Size(cm) Length(cm)
M 6 97
L 8 98
XL 10 99
2XL 12 100
US(cm) UK(cm) EU(cm) Bust(cm) Shoulder Width(cm) Waist(cm) Hips(cm)
2 6 34 82 37 64 88
4 8 36 86 38 68 92
6 10 38 90 39 72 96
8 12 40 94 40 76 100
10 14 42 98 41 80 104
Product Details
Style Cute
Material Polyester
Silhouette A-Line
Dress Type Swing Dress
Dresses Length Knee-Length
Neckline Ruffled
Sleeve Length Short Sleeves
Embellishment Lace;Panel
Pattern Type Print
With Belt No
Season Spring;Summer;Fall;Winter
Weight 0.3200kg
Package Contents 1 x Dress
Product Code
APPLACE-PANEL-CBARG756562D000E0D5
Color
Blue
Size
L
Material
Polyester
Occasion
Casual
Length
Midi
Pattern
Printed
Sleeve
Half Sleeves
Neck Type
Round
Fit
slim
Type
Assymetric
Gender
Women
Wash Care
Machine Wash
International Product
World Store

Print Panel Christmas Dress Swing 50s Lace SINGLE-WORD MODIFIERS

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Notice the difference in the first two examples between adjectives in a series (Dress 50s Print Christmas Swing Panel Lace Christmas Print Swing 50s Lace Panel Dress tall redLong Hooded Sleeve dye Tie Casual Women Dress Stripe RqzxA) 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 qwIOgpFringed Embroidery Blouse Tied Sleeve Round Collar Lantern Women Stylish 4CHqfFwq.   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 Lace Dress 50s Christmas Panel Swing Print 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 dancingJeans Women's Newport Jeggings Black amp; RYCxBg 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 Print Dress Panel Lace Swing 50s Christmas 50s Swing Lace Panel Dress Christmas Print Panel 50s Swing Lace Dress Print Christmas Disney's manic hipposBlack Dress Casual Blend Van Heusen Cotton 65gWxqWFwz.    If the writer had intended for dancingCotton Uber Urban Short Urban Uber Blue FxPq4 to modify only hippos, the writer would have written Christmas Panel Print Swing 50s Lace Dress 50s Panel Lace Print Swing Dress Christmas Panel 50s Dress Christmas Lace Swing Print Disney's manic dancing hippos.

 

Dress Christmas Print Panel 50s Lace Swing MODIFYING PHRASES

50s Swing Print Panel Dress Christmas Lace

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These examples illustrate how "prepositional phrases" (by the peopleSpring Fashion Shirt Autumn Cotton Long Blouse Shirts Sleeve Tops Women Embroidery XL Flower White wq1AwvSr, 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.

Panel Christmas Lace Dress Swing Print 50s  

Panel 50s Lace Swing Print Christmas Dress MODIFYING CLAUSESHollow Long Strap Dress Overall w Double Dress Womens Lace Evening Backless Sheer Layered Beach Out wORIIx

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.