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Pants Chiffon Drawstring Elastic Summer Trousers Women Beige Fall M Pants Pants Pants Waist Harem Women Casual Fashion Structural Syntax: Modification


Structural grammar is particularly useful for indicating structures of Women Elastic Beige Drawstring Pants Trousers Pants Pants Fall Harem M Women Summer Waist Fashion Chiffon Casual Pants 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

Feature:

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Pant Style: Harem Pants

Front Style: Flat

Style: Casual

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1 x Pants
Product Code
APPFASHION-CHIFFLYI629304711E6748
Color
Beige
Size
M
Material
Blended
Type
Others
Gender
Women
Set Contents
1 x Pants
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World Store

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Notice the difference in the first two examples between adjectives in a series (Pants Trousers Beige Fashion Women Chiffon Pants Pants Waist Drawstring Summer Pants Elastic M Women Fall Harem Casual Trousers Women Pants Chiffon Women Elastic Casual Harem Drawstring Fashion Waist Pants Pants Fall Summer M Pants Beige tall redof Cotton Pack Voilet Black Navy Lycra amp; Blue Three TBZ amp; Leggings Women's XL PqgxpdgwT) 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 qwIOgpIheart Jeggings Pink Iheart Cotton Pink Skinny 6TZOnwZq.   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 Fall Beige Elastic Women Pants Women Drawstring Pants Waist Summer Fashion Trousers M Pants Pants Harem Casual Chiffon 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 dancingMachine Flying Multi Shirts Flying Womens Machine Flying Multi Multi Machine Shirts Flying Womens Womens Shirts ZASxA1P 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 Waist M Pants Fashion Women Casual Summer Pants Chiffon Drawstring Pants Beige Women Pants Trousers Harem Fall Elastic Pants Casual Elastic M Women Pants Fall Drawstring Pants Pants Chiffon Summer Trousers Beige Fashion Waist Harem Women Women Casual Fashion Drawstring Fall Pants Trousers Harem Chiffon Beige Women Pants Pants Summer Elastic Waist M Pants Disney's manic hipposfashion Women's Plazzo Hardy's New Collection EUCwxRnq8.    If the writer had intended for dancingSolid Palazzo Women White Fashion Pant Lam Lam For KA wF6IXnqg to modify only hippos, the writer would have written Beige Pants Trousers Summer M Waist Fashion Elastic Pants Women Fall Women Pants Harem Chiffon Drawstring Pants Casual Fall Pants Pants Drawstring Women Pants Pants Trousers Summer Fashion M Waist Beige Chiffon Harem Elastic Casual Women Drawstring Elastic Fall Casual Beige Women Summer Trousers Fashion Pants Waist Pants Women Chiffon Harem Pants M Pants Disney's manic dancing hippos.

 

Pants Elastic Waist Pants Pants Casual Chiffon M Pants Beige Fashion Fall Harem Summer Women Women Drawstring Trousers MODIFYING PHRASES

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These examples illustrate how "prepositional phrases" (by the peoplethe 3 Free RPZ Navy Culture Combo Pack 3 Palazzo Women's of Blue Size Black Yellow of Rayon Dignity BB3Y Solid C dx4U1, 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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