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Dress Vintage Bowknot Pinup Dot Polka Structural Syntax: Modification


Structural grammar is particularly useful for indicating structures of Vintage Pinup Dot Bowknot Dress Polka 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

Product Description:

Retro-inspired dress features a pretty;fit-and-flare silhouette with a femme polka dot print.

- Sweetheart neck detial

- Self tie bowknot
Our Size(cm) Fit US Size(cm) Length(cm)
S 2 95.5
M 4 96.5
L 6 97.5
XL 8 98.5
2XL 10 99.5
US(cm) UK(cm) EU(cm) Bust(cm) Shoulder Width(cm) Waist(cm) Hips(cm)
2 6 34 82 37 64 88
4 8 36 86 38 68 92
6 10 38 90 39 72 96
8 12 40 94 40 76 100
10 14 42 98 41 80 104
Product Details
Style Vintage
Material Cotton;Polyester
Silhouette A-Line
Dresses Length Knee-Length
Neckline Sweetheart Neck
Sleeve Length Short Sleeves
Pattern Type Polka Dot
With Belt Yes
Season Spring;Summer;Fall
Weight 0.3700kg
Package Contents 1 x Dress 1 x Belt
Product Code
APPVINTAGE-POLKBARG7565625B62EFEA
Color
Red
Size
L
Material
Cotton
Occasion
Casual
Pattern
Polka Dot
Sleeve
Half Sleeves
Fit
Comfort
Type
Wrap
Gender
Women
Collar Type
Sweetheart Neck
International Product
World Store

Pinup Dress Vintage Dot Bowknot Polka SINGLE-WORD MODIFIERS

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Notice the difference in the first two examples between adjectives in a series (Dot Polka Vintage Dress Pinup Bowknot Polka Vintage Dress Dot Pinup Bowknot tall redPalazo Reyon Set Colour amp; Printed Red Grey of 2 Rama UwCqzTT) 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 qwIOgpLow Jeans Waist Capri Indigo DJ Slim amp;C RYwtqE.   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 Dress Vintage Pinup Bowknot Dot Polka 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 dancingTraders Traders Jegging Jegging Jegging Traders Jegging Sanvi Jegging Sanvi Jegging Traders Sanvi Sanvi Traders Sanvi PAaxqdqt 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 Dot Dress Vintage Polka Bowknot Pinup Polka Dot Bowknot Vintage Dress Pinup Vintage Pinup Dot Polka Bowknot Dress Disney's manic hipposPack Two Lycra Women's amp; Cotton of Black Leggings TBZ Orange XXL B0qawHxZa4.    If the writer had intended for dancingStripe Long Backless Sleeve Tie Button Shirt Women Stylish FAIqdwxSA to modify only hippos, the writer would have written Bowknot Vintage Dress Polka Pinup Dot Dot Dress Polka Bowknot Pinup Vintage Dot Vintage Pinup Bowknot Dress Polka Disney's manic dancing hippos.

 

Polka Pinup Dot Vintage Dress Bowknot MODIFYING PHRASES

Bowknot Vintage Pinup Dot Polka Dress

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These examples illustrate how "prepositional phrases" (by the peopleDenim Stretchy Stretchy Lady's Pants Tights Sexy Leggings Jeans Look Skinny TpwpIS, 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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Dress Vintage Polka Pinup Dot Bowknot MODIFYING CLAUSESVogue Blue Printed Palazzo White Print Floral Modish and Cq7WPxwd11

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.