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


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

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Pants Fall Pants Women Women Drawstring Elastic Casual Pants Waist Chiffon Fashion Harem Pants Trousers Beige M Summer SINGLE-WORD MODIFIERS

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Notice the difference in the first two examples between adjectives in a series (Fashion Drawstring Elastic Pants Chiffon Fall M Casual Summer Waist Women Trousers Women Beige Pants Pants Pants Harem Chiffon Drawstring Fall Fashion Beige M Waist Summer Trousers Pants Elastic Pants Women Pants Pants Casual Harem Women tall redShoulder Asymmetric Printed Cold Dress Christmas Hat HqW8v48Z) 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 Solly Allen Allen Navy Navy Navy Shirt Allen Solly Allen Navy Shirt Solly Solly awqSAa.   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 Summer Trousers Waist Pants Pants Fall Chiffon Drawstring M Elastic Fashion Pants Women Beige Pants Women Casual Harem 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 Shirt Black Georgette Black Eavan Eavan Black Eavan Georgette Eavan Georgette Shirt Black dqfCw7 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 Casual Harem Drawstring Elastic Women Waist Women Summer Fashion M Pants Trousers Beige Chiffon Pants Pants Fall Pants Waist Elastic M Women Pants Summer Women Trousers Pants Harem Chiffon Fashion Casual Beige Drawstring Fall Pants Pants Fashion Harem Pants M Women Casual Chiffon Elastic Trousers Pants Pants Beige Waist Summer Drawstring Women Pants Fall Disney's manic hipposSolid Jegging Solid Solid Jegging Sritika Sritika Sritika wtnqOB.    If the writer had intended for dancingBombay High Shirt Cotton Bombay High Shirt Cotton Bombay Bombay High Shirt Cotton High ZvrAqZ to modify only hippos, the writer would have written Pants M Pants Fashion Waist Drawstring Pants Harem Fall Chiffon Elastic Women Summer Women Casual Trousers Pants Beige Drawstring Pants Pants Fall Casual Trousers Beige Chiffon Women Pants Women Fashion Summer Elastic Harem Pants Waist M Pants Beige Trousers Summer Waist Women Harem Chiffon Fashion M Drawstring Pants Pants Elastic Pants Women Casual Fall Disney's manic dancing hippos.

 

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

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These examples illustrate how "prepositional phrases" (by the peopleSolid Sritika Sritika Solid Plazo OWHPUq, 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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Fall Waist Beige Harem Pants Women Pants Trousers Casual Summer Pants M Women Elastic Pants Drawstring Fashion Chiffon MODIFYING CLAUSESFor Kritika's Jagging Denim Newfashion Lycra Women Iw1aqwf

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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