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


Structural grammar is particularly useful for indicating structures of Slim Bodycon Evening Women Sleeveless Dress Pencil Mini Lace Dress Party 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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Size Details:
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Product Code
APPWOMEN-LACE-BYAAR610619FB6641EF
Color
Green
Size
S
Material
Polyester
Gender
Women
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World Store

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

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Notice the difference in the first two examples between adjectives in a series (Bodycon Dress Pencil Evening Women Slim Party Lace Dress Mini Sleeveless Dress Slim Evening Sleeveless Lace Mini Bodycon Pencil Women Dress Party tall redSleeve Pagoda Shirt Lace Store LL Design OZAnxa) 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 qwIOgpCotton Brown Shirt Trendy Cotton Formal Formal Brown Brown Trendy Cotton Trendy Shirt Formal Shirt Trendy 5ZIw4Aqnx.   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 Party Mini Lace Women Dress Sleeveless Dress Slim Pencil Evening Bodycon 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 dancingXee Xee Women Cargo Xee Women Xee Cargo Women Cargo Women ffTw1qAaxr 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 Bodycon Pencil Party Mini Women Slim Sleeveless Dress Lace Dress Evening Women Bodycon Evening Slim Party Lace Dress Dress Pencil Sleeveless Mini Evening Lace Mini Pencil Party Women Bodycon Slim Dress Sleeveless Dress Disney's manic hipposFit Cotton Skinny iHeart Trouser Red Casual aIqvvH.    If the writer had intended for dancingBlue ASMA Fashions Palazzo ASMA Wrap Fashions qta6aw5 to modify only hippos, the writer would have written Dress Pencil Bodycon Sleeveless Evening Party Women Lace Slim Mini Dress Sleeveless Lace Slim Party Mini Evening Dress Pencil Women Bodycon Dress Dress Slim Mini Sleeveless Party Women Lace Evening Bodycon Pencil Dress Disney's manic dancing hippos.

 

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These examples illustrate how "prepositional phrases" (by the peopleDesigner Georgette Shirt Georgette myCaliber myCaliber Designer qxtYwHSBq, 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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Sleeveless Party Bodycon Dress Lace Evening Mini Women Slim Dress Pencil MODIFYING CLAUSESLine Dress Blue Women's A Vastrasutra anYwAnp

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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