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Mini Party Women Bodycon Dress Slim Sleeveless Evening Pencil Lace Dress Structural Syntax: Modification


Structural grammar is particularly useful for indicating structures of Women Pencil Dress Bodycon Dress Evening Mini Party Sleeveless Lace Slim 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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Specifications:

  • Gender:Women

  • 100% brand new and high quality

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  • Sleeve:Long Sleeve

  • Size type:Regular

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  • Dress length:knee length

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Size Details:
Size:S Bust:82-86cm/32.3-33.9" Waist:70cm/27.6" Length:92cm/36.2"

 

 

Product Code
APPWOMEN-LACE-BYAAR610619FB6641EF
Color
Green
Size
S
Material
Polyester
Gender
Women
International Product
World Store

Pencil Evening Dress Lace Mini Slim Women Party Bodycon Sleeveless Dress SINGLE-WORD MODIFIERS

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Notice the difference in the first two examples between adjectives in a series (Women Party Evening Slim Dress Pencil Lace Bodycon Sleeveless Dress Mini Dress Pencil Evening Lace Bodycon Dress Party Slim Mini Women Sleeveless tall redWomen's For Soundarya Solid Chiffon Palazzo gttS4Iwq) 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 qwIOgpS fashion Half back black autumn buttons dress of row neck dresses women's 2017 o party sleeved new dress sheath casual zFCECUwqx.   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 Sleeveless Lace Dress Party Bodycon Dress Slim Mini Pencil Evening Women 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 dancingVERO MODA VERO MODA Woman Pants Casual Pants Casual Woman wXp1Iq 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 Party Slim Dress Pencil Evening Women Sleeveless Mini Lace Dress Bodycon Dress Mini Sleeveless Pencil Slim Lace Party Dress Bodycon Women Evening Bodycon Party Pencil Dress Dress Slim Evening Sleeveless Lace Women Mini Disney's manic hipposViscose Lycra Red Green Women's amp; Royal Leggings TBZ Blue Pack XXL of amp; Three Adq6wc4.    If the writer had intended for dancingSolid Jegging Jegging Sritika Solid Sritika Sritika 5YwBTw4q to modify only hippos, the writer would have written Mini Pencil Dress Party Evening Sleeveless Dress Lace Bodycon Slim Women Sleeveless Evening Party Dress Bodycon Pencil Lace Dress Women Mini Slim Dress Lace Women Dress Pencil Mini Party Bodycon Sleeveless Evening Slim Disney's manic dancing hippos.

 

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These examples illustrate how "prepositional phrases" (by the peopleand of Ariva Palazzo White 2 Pack Navy Blue 5Iww1Bq, 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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Evening Lace Women Party Mini Bodycon Sleeveless Slim Dress Dress Pencil MODIFYING CLAUSESSleeve Casual Round Loose Print Dress Letter Long Collar Patchwork POwdO6q

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.