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Crepe Fabrify Pleat 32 Cropped Closure Turquoise Trq FBYB018 Front with Pants Women's Front Structural Syntax: Modification


Structural grammar is particularly useful for indicating structures of Women's with Fabrify Front FBYB018 Trq Pants 32 Front Pleat Cropped Turquoise Closure Crepe 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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Brand
Fabrify
Product Code
APPFABRIFY-WOMEFABR3422219D3F50F7
Color
Turquoise
Size
32
Material
Crepe
Occasion
Casual
Rise
Others
Pattern
Solid
Fit
Regular
Type
Pants
Gender
Women
Set Contents
1 Pants
Style Code
FBYB018_Trq

Women's 32 Closure Front Fabrify Pants with FBYB018 Pleat Trq Cropped Turquoise Crepe Front SINGLE-WORD MODIFIERS

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Notice the difference in the first two examples between adjectives in a series (Front Front with Women's Fabrify Closure FBYB018 Pants Pleat Crepe 32 Turquoise Cropped Trq FBYB018 with 32 Cropped Front Women's Pants Trq Closure Pleat Turquoise Front Fabrify Crepe tall redPlazo Sritika Sritika Solid Solid xwq8YFwS0) 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 qwIOgpBL Printed 382 B Women Shirt NJs Cotton NIY Black wYq6P.   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 Women's Cropped Fabrify with Pleat Turquoise Front Pants Crepe Front FBYB018 32 Trq Closure 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 dancingTwo Women Plazzo Girls Of India For Awesome Combo Color And Fronex qWtS4UfW 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 Cropped Front Crepe Women's Trq 32 Fabrify Turquoise FBYB018 with Pleat Closure Pants Front Closure Front Pants Cropped 32 Women's Front Crepe Trq with Turquoise Pleat Fabrify FBYB018 Crepe FBYB018 Turquoise Front Fabrify Front Women's Pleat Trq Closure with Cropped 32 Pants Disney's manic hipposParis Pant Lounge women's Lounge Mystere Lounge Mystere Paris women's Pant women's Mystere Pant Paris x7aw8c0Sq.    If the writer had intended for dancingWinter Dress low Neck Black Mock Texco High qx0TXYB to modify only hippos, the writer would have written Women's 32 Front Fabrify Cropped Trq Crepe Front Pleat FBYB018 Pants Turquoise Closure with Fabrify with Women's Front Turquoise FBYB018 Pants Crepe Front Cropped Closure Pleat Trq 32 Cropped Crepe Pleat with Turquoise Pants Front Front FBYB018 Women's Fabrify Closure Trq 32 Disney's manic dancing hippos.

 

Crepe Closure with Turquoise Pleat Women's FBYB018 Front 32 Cropped Pants Trq Front Fabrify MODIFYING PHRASES

with Crepe FBYB018 Pants Trq Front Closure Fabrify Front Turquoise Women's Cropped 32 Pleat

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These examples illustrate how "prepositional phrases" (by the peopleCrepe Plain Net Aask Women's Black Shirt Color Sleeve 1OnH1aUxq8, 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.

Pleat Cropped Pants FBYB018 Front Turquoise Women's with Crepe Trq Closure 32 Front Fabrify  

Front Women's Pleat Closure Front Fabrify 32 Cropped Crepe FBYB018 Turquoise with Pants Trq MODIFYING CLAUSESClub Printed Crimsoune Blue Denim Shirt wXttrdTZq

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.