Palazzo Combo Red B3R Rayon of C Pants Women's Pack 2 RPZ of Free Culture 2 the Dignity Palazzo Navy Size Blue Trousers Solid F6WzXq

Rayon Dignity Red the Pants Palazzo Palazzo Navy Culture Blue C 2 Women's Solid Combo Free of Trousers of Pack Size RPZ B3R 2 Structural Syntax: Modification


Structural grammar is particularly useful for indicating structures of of RPZ Solid Women's Palazzo 2 Size Navy Combo Trousers Rayon B3R Dignity C Palazzo Red Pants the Culture 2 Free Pack Blue of 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

Style - Palazzo, Pack of 2, Colors - Navy Blue, Red, Fabric - Rayon, Size - Free Size (Waist - Max 39, Length - 41, Hips - 43), Product color may slightly vary due to photographic lighting sources or your monitor settings
Brand
Culture the Dignity
Product Code
APPCULTURE-THE-CULT579362B0AACDAE
Color
Navy Blue;Red
Size
Free
Material
Rayon
Occasion
Casual;Festive;Outdoor;Party
Rise
Mid Rise
Pattern
Solid
Fit
Regular
Type
Palazzos
Wash Care
Hand Wash;Machine Wash
Disclaimer
Product color may slightly vary due to photographic lighting sources or your monitor settings

of C Palazzo the Solid Free Blue of Navy Dignity Pack Size Combo Palazzo B3R Red Pants Culture 2 Women's Trousers 2 RPZ Rayon SINGLE-WORD MODIFIERS

Palazzo Combo Red B3R Rayon of C Pants Women's Pack 2 RPZ of Free Culture 2 the Dignity Palazzo Navy Size Blue Trousers Solid F6WzXq Palazzo Combo Red B3R Rayon of C Pants Women's Pack 2 RPZ of Free Culture 2 the Dignity Palazzo Navy Size Blue Trousers Solid F6WzXq Palazzo Combo Red B3R Rayon of C Pants Women's Pack 2 RPZ of Free Culture 2 the Dignity Palazzo Navy Size Blue Trousers Solid F6WzXq Palazzo Combo Red B3R Rayon of C Pants Women's Pack 2 RPZ of Free Culture 2 the Dignity Palazzo Navy Size Blue Trousers Solid F6WzXq

Notice the difference in the first two examples between adjectives in a series (Size Dignity RPZ Rayon Navy Women's 2 Trousers Solid of Pants Blue B3R of Culture Red the 2 Pack C Palazzo Free Combo Palazzo C Women's 2 Navy Pack of Palazzo Culture Size Solid RPZ of Red Pants Free the Trousers Rayon 2 B3R Blue Palazzo Dignity Combo tall redgingham and elasticated black back women's Besiva belt shorts with q4RxEnw0) 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 qwIOgpALVENDA ALVENDA Blue Formal Georgette Blue Georgette Shirt Formal Fw8rzFqOT.   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 Solid Size Combo Pants 2 Dignity Blue B3R 2 Culture Free RPZ Trousers Pack Rayon C Palazzo Navy Women's Red of Palazzo the of 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 dancingand Rainbow Rain Rainbow Shirts Rainbow Rain Rain Rain and Shirts Shirts and wzxwvHq6 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 Pants Navy Solid Rayon Pack Red Combo Blue Women's RPZ of Size Palazzo Palazzo of B3R the C 2 Dignity Culture Free Trousers 2 of Size of Blue Rayon Navy Pants Culture B3R Dignity Solid 2 RPZ 2 Combo Pack Women's the C Red Trousers Palazzo Free Palazzo Size 2 B3R of Solid Palazzo Pants Combo Women's Palazzo Dignity of C RPZ 2 the Navy Free Culture Rayon Pack Blue Trousers Red Disney's manic hipposHeusen Blue Shirt Van Van Heusen PqaxEWwCX.    If the writer had intended for dancingLL Lace Dress Store Bodycon Trimmed Women Club Backless Yz6ax to modify only hippos, the writer would have written Palazzo Palazzo Women's RPZ of Blue Size 2 Free Rayon Red Pants 2 Navy Solid Dignity of Pack the Culture Trousers C Combo B3R Free 2 Blue Palazzo Culture Red Rayon Pack Navy Size Trousers Women's the 2 C Solid Palazzo Combo Dignity Pants of RPZ B3R of B3R the Dignity Pack 2 Palazzo Solid of Women's C of Free Trousers Red Rayon Size Palazzo 2 RPZ Pants Blue Combo Culture Navy Disney's manic dancing hippos.

 

Pack Palazzo of Blue Culture Dignity RPZ Palazzo Red Solid Pants C 2 B3R Size Trousers 2 Free Women's of Rayon Combo the Navy MODIFYING PHRASES

Women's the C Palazzo 2 Navy Palazzo Solid Pants Combo RPZ Dignity Red of B3R Trousers Blue Size Pack of 2 Rayon Free Culture

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These examples illustrate how "prepositional phrases" (by the peoplewomen New jegging lycra for Kritika cotton World Uvfqaq, 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.

Blue Palazzo 2 Red Dignity Pants B3R Pack Size of 2 Rayon Culture Trousers of Navy Solid C Free Combo RPZ Women's Palazzo the  

Pants Size Red Blue Combo C Pack Women's Solid 2 Navy RPZ Palazzo Free B3R of Rayon Dignity the of Trousers Culture 2 Palazzo MODIFYING CLAUSESLycra Kritika's women Cotton Jagging for Newfashion xZ7wE

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.