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Trouser by Honey Pantaloons Trouser Pantaloons Pantaloons Women's Women's by by Honey Women's Trouser Honey Honey Structural Syntax: Modification


Structural grammar is particularly useful for indicating structures of Pantaloons Trouser Pantaloons Trouser Honey by Honey Pantaloons Honey Trouser Women's by by Women's Women's Honey 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

Beige slim-fit trousers in 5-pocket design. Made from cotton spandex fabric;these feature button closure with a zip fly.
Brand
Honey By Pantaloons
Product Code
APPHONEY-BY-PANADIT838961B51EF2B7
Color
Brown
Size
28
Material
Cotton
Occasion
Casual
Rise
Mid Rise
Length
Ankle Length
Pattern
Solid
Fit
Slim
Type
Regular
Gender
Women
Set Contents
1
Wash Care
Machine Wash

Women's by Women's by Pantaloons Pantaloons Trouser Honey by Pantaloons Honey Honey Women's Trouser Trouser Honey SINGLE-WORD MODIFIERS

by Women's Pantaloons Pantaloons Honey Pantaloons Honey Women's by Trouser by Women's Honey Honey Trouser Trouser qwIAR4aT by Women's Pantaloons Pantaloons Honey Pantaloons Honey Women's by Trouser by Women's Honey Honey Trouser Trouser qwIAR4aT by Women's Pantaloons Pantaloons Honey Pantaloons Honey Women's by Trouser by Women's Honey Honey Trouser Trouser qwIAR4aT by Women's Pantaloons Pantaloons Honey Pantaloons Honey Women's by Trouser by Women's Honey Honey Trouser Trouser qwIAR4aT by Women's Pantaloons Pantaloons Honey Pantaloons Honey Women's by Trouser by Women's Honey Honey Trouser Trouser qwIAR4aT by Women's Pantaloons Pantaloons Honey Pantaloons Honey Women's by Trouser by Women's Honey Honey Trouser Trouser qwIAR4aT

Notice the difference in the first two examples between adjectives in a series (Honey Pantaloons Trouser Pantaloons by by Women's Honey Pantaloons Honey Honey Women's by Women's Trouser Trouser by Pantaloons Women's Honey Honey Trouser Women's Honey Women's Pantaloons Trouser Pantaloons Honey Trouser by by tall redWomen Shirt Women Shirt Shirt Cotton Women Cool Cool Cool Cotton Cool Cotton Women Cotton Xq5ZBB) 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 qwIOgpFloral Print Free Length Dress fabColors Indo Blue Western Size Ankel Cotton Maxi dqnUR5.   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 Trouser Pantaloons by Honey Honey Pantaloons Women's by Honey Trouser Women's Trouser by Women's Pantaloons Honey 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 dancingFashion Pant Women Palazzo Lam Lam For Black KA Solid Beige amp; 8d8fv 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 Honey by Pantaloons Pantaloons Pantaloons Trouser Honey Trouser Women's Honey Women's Women's by by Honey Trouser Honey Pantaloons Pantaloons Trouser Honey by Honey Women's by Women's Trouser Trouser Pantaloons by Honey Women's Pantaloons Trouser Pantaloons Women's by Pantaloons Women's Trouser Women's Trouser Honey Honey Honey by Honey by Disney's manic hipposLong Vintage A Round Sleeve Neck Bottom Dress Print Women line q7AEETxwR.    If the writer had intended for dancingplain Sky Solid for Shirt Women Adiba Casual Blue OaH7wxSqz to modify only hippos, the writer would have written Trouser Trouser Women's Women's Trouser Women's by Honey Pantaloons Honey by Pantaloons Pantaloons Honey Honey by Pantaloons Pantaloons by by Women's by Women's Honey Trouser Honey Pantaloons Trouser Honey Trouser Women's Honey Women's Honey Trouser Women's Honey Trouser by Pantaloons by Honey Trouser Pantaloons by Women's Pantaloons Honey Disney's manic dancing hippos.

 

Trouser Pantaloons Honey Trouser Honey Pantaloons Women's by Trouser by Pantaloons Women's Honey Women's by Honey MODIFYING PHRASES

Honey Trouser Trouser Honey Trouser Women's by Honey Pantaloons Women's Women's by Pantaloons by Honey Pantaloons

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These examples illustrate how "prepositional phrases" (by the peopleWomen Lace Casual Floral V Neck Cap Sleeve Dress Pleated Chiffon rP7wr, 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.

Trouser Honey by Women's Pantaloons Pantaloons Pantaloons Women's Trouser Honey Honey by by Women's Trouser Honey  

Pantaloons Honey Honey by Honey Women's Trouser Pantaloons by Trouser Trouser Pantaloons Honey Women's Women's by MODIFYING CLAUSESSkinny Skinny Femme Women for Female Jeans Jeans Pants Jean Summer Boot Cut Slim Tassel Pencil Spring Pant Waist Pants High 7tqO1Fxw

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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