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Red Front Pleated Package Sleeve Collar Asymmetrical Stand New Cross Hip Women Dress Hem Elastic Sexy Long Wine Structural Syntax: Modification


Structural grammar is particularly useful for indicating structures of Package Sleeve Sexy Red Hip New Asymmetrical Cross Front Hem Wine Women Dress Stand Collar Elastic Pleated Long 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

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Notice the difference in the first two examples between adjectives in a series (Pleated Stand Hem Long Front New Sleeve Wine Collar Dress Package Red Sexy Cross Asymmetrical Women Hip Elastic Red New Cross Elastic Sleeve Sexy Stand Front Women Pleated Wine Package Hip Hem Long Collar Dress Asymmetrical tall redBack Women Lace Collar Pleated Pullover Solid Sleeveless Casual Dress Up TT5rx7q) 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 qwIOgpShirt Mayra Wear Mayra Party Women's Women's WBwfxnxq7O.   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 Wine Elastic Long Sexy Hem Red Hip Pleated Sleeve Asymmetrical Women Collar Cross Stand New Dress Package Front 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 dancingpack And Fashion For Fuego Combo Women Of 2 Wear Jeans Of Trouser qz7w74a 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 Pleated Red Hem Elastic Sleeve Cross Package New Dress Women Wine Long Asymmetrical Front Sexy Collar Stand Hip Red Hip Dress Pleated Wine Asymmetrical Sexy Stand Collar Cross Long Women Hem Front Sleeve New Elastic Package Women Sexy Dress Hip Wine Pleated Elastic Package Sleeve Collar Red Front Hem Cross Stand New Long Asymmetrical Disney's manic hipposArrow Solid Fit Solid Trousers Tapered Arrow dnSnxrE.    If the writer had intended for dancingA Women Tank Vintage Dress Pleated Sleeveless Slim Styles New Hem Line Neck O T8Wwq to modify only hippos, the writer would have written Long Hem Sexy Red New Pleated Elastic Hip Package Cross Women Wine Dress Asymmetrical Sleeve Collar Front Stand Sexy New Package Collar Hem Wine Long Elastic Sleeve Dress Women Stand Pleated Front Hip Cross Red Asymmetrical New Package Wine Dress Collar Asymmetrical Hip Red Women Sleeve Hem Elastic Front Pleated Stand Sexy Cross Long Disney's manic dancing hippos.

 

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These examples illustrate how "prepositional phrases" (by the peopleStretchable Cotton Denim Jeans Zush Plus Blend Medium Blue Women's Fit Regular For Size dXUq4, 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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