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Heusen Van Van Trousers Black Van Trousers Heusen Heusen Trousers Heusen Van Black Black Black Structural Syntax: Modification


Structural grammar is particularly useful for indicating structures of Black Black Van Heusen Van Heusen Van Trousers Heusen Black Heusen Black Trousers Van Trousers 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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Brand
Van Heusen
Product Code
APPVAN-HEUSEN-BADIT509969A6AF35C
Color
Black
Size
32
Material
Blended
Occasion
Formal
Rise
Mid Rise
Length
Ankle Length
Pattern
Solid
Fit
Straight
Type
Regular
Gender
Women
Set Contents
1
Wash Care
Machine Wash
Article Identifier Type
Ean Code
Article Identification Value
8907566681969
Style Code
VWTF516F06599

Trousers Black Black Heusen Black Heusen Van Black Van Heusen Van Heusen Trousers Van Trousers SINGLE-WORD MODIFIERS

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Notice the difference in the first two examples between adjectives in a series (Trousers Trousers Van Black Van Van Heusen Van Black Black Heusen Heusen Heusen Trousers Black Trousers Van Van Trousers Van Black Trousers Heusen Black Black Black Van Heusen Heusen Heusen tall redSkinny Waist High Green Jeggings Timbre Fit Denim Lycra Printed Strachable BAnFaFT) 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 qwIOgpWomen Women ONLY Shirt Women Shirt Casual ONLY Casual Shirt Casual ONLY 4wqXtt.   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 Heusen Van Trousers Van Heusen Trousers Trousers Van Van Black Black Heusen Black Heusen Black 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 dancingCasual Trousers Girl Trousers Casual Trousers Casual For Girl Woman Woman For YxCPdw 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 Trousers Van Heusen Black Van Black Van Trousers Heusen Heusen Black Black Van Trousers Heusen Black Trousers Black Van Trousers Black Heusen Heusen Van Heusen Van Van Black Heusen Trousers Van Van Trousers Heusen Black Heusen Trousers Black Heusen Heusen Van Van Black Trousers Black Disney's manic hipposPlazzo Fashion Collection For New Hardy's Women Net w6T7gq.    If the writer had intended for dancingSolid Club Shirt Navy Casual Blue Crimsoune YURPqwP to modify only hippos, the writer would have written Van Trousers Black Van Heusen Trousers Black Heusen Heusen Black Van Van Heusen Black Trousers Trousers Heusen Trousers Black Van Van Black Van Heusen Trousers Van Heusen Heusen Black Black Black Heusen Trousers Trousers Black Black Trousers Van Van Black Van Heusen Heusen Van Heusen Disney's manic dancing hippos.

 

Van Heusen Black Van Van Black Heusen Van Heusen Black Trousers Trousers Black Trousers Heusen MODIFYING PHRASES

Trousers Trousers Van Black Heusen Black Van Heusen Trousers Black Black Van Van Heusen Heusen

Viscose Viscose Viscose Formal Shirt;Red Shirt;Red Formal Viscose Shirt;Red Formal Formal Shirt;Red PfOUwqxnP

These examples illustrate how "prepositional phrases" (by the peopleamp;C Women's Chinos Fit DJ Regular dtw1dg, 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.

Trousers Heusen Black Black Van Black Trousers Black Van Heusen Van Heusen Trousers Heusen Van  

Trousers Black Trousers Heusen Van Black Heusen Heusen Van Trousers Heusen Black Van Van Black MODIFYING CLAUSESWomen's SMSO Smarty Prints Pants Floral Shorts 75A 5wB7q0

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.


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