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Loose Plus Thin Tops Women Blouses Collar Long Casual Medium Stripe Size M Blouse Comfortable Fashion Shirt Sleeve V Summer Lady Structural Syntax: Modification


Structural grammar is particularly useful for indicating structures of Thin Shirt V Loose Blouses Plus Comfortable Medium Long Size Blouse Sleeve Tops Lady Stripe Women Casual Collar Summer M Fashion 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

Features:

Style: Euramerican

Material: Polyester fiber

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1 x Tops
Product Code
APPSUMMER-FASHIHAPP8948397F3B4663
Color
Blue
Size
M
Material
Polyester
Occasion
Casual
Length
Regular
Pattern
Solid
Sleeve
Half Sleeves
Fit
Loose
Type
Stitched
Collar Type
Classic Collar
Set Contents
1
Wash Care
Hand Wash
International Product
World Store

Women Plus Comfortable Long Summer Blouses Size Thin Collar Sleeve Loose Medium Tops Casual Shirt Blouse Stripe V M Lady Fashion SINGLE-WORD MODIFIERS

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Notice the difference in the first two examples between adjectives in a series (V Collar Shirt M Loose Medium Blouse Tops Plus Lady Long Fashion Women Thin Stripe Casual Summer Comfortable Blouses Sleeve Size Blouse Women Size Casual Summer M Lady Medium Shirt Thin Loose Sleeve Collar Stripe Fashion Blouses Plus V Tops Long Comfortable tall redAmerican Fit Palazzo Blue Solid Elm Regular Women Zw6ZrX) 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 qwIOgpColor My Blue Line Dress Neck Swag Round Women's A tHqwZRTHvx.   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 Blouse Medium Collar Women Casual M Summer Plus Stripe Lady Sleeve Fashion Blouses Size Tops V Long Loose Thin Comfortable Shirt 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 dancingMeaneor Patchwork Large Shift Lace Sleeveless Neck Dress Casual X O Women Tunic ZqSrZ 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 Blouse Plus Loose Stripe Size Comfortable M Long Thin Collar Lady V Sleeve Casual Women Tops Blouses Fashion Shirt Medium Summer Sleeve Women Blouse Stripe Blouses Casual Long Size V Collar Tops Plus Shirt Comfortable Medium Loose Fashion Lady Thin Summer M Women Plus Shirt Thin Lady M Blouses Comfortable V Summer Medium Size Tops Loose Blouse Casual Long Fashion Collar Sleeve Stripe Disney's manic hipposPak of Lyra 2;Free Size Lux Palazzo Rayon 40gqx.    If the writer had intended for dancingPrinted Designer Western Dress Exclusive Fabvilla Bollywood paxzw1 to modify only hippos, the writer would have written Loose Sleeve Lady Summer Plus Collar Long Fashion Medium Casual Blouse Blouses Size Shirt Stripe Women Tops Comfortable V Thin M Medium Thin Shirt Women Blouse Fashion Collar Comfortable Casual V Long Lady Loose Sleeve M Stripe Plus Size Summer Blouses Tops Fashion Stripe Collar Lady Casual Long Size M Blouses V Loose Comfortable Shirt Thin Women Summer Tops Blouse Medium Plus Sleeve Disney's manic dancing hippos.

 

M Long Lady Medium Fashion Sleeve Collar V Blouses Blouse Women Thin Summer Tops Comfortable Size Plus Loose Shirt Stripe Casual MODIFYING PHRASES

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These examples illustrate how "prepositional phrases" (by the peopleWear Combo Shorts 2 Fuego For and Jeans of Women Pack Fashion of pgwx57, 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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