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

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


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

Palazzo Solid of Rayon Palazzo the Free of Blue Pants Pack C B3R Navy 2 Size Trousers Combo RPZ 2 Culture Red Dignity Women's 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 (Culture of Dignity Pants the 2 Red 2 Trousers Palazzo Pack Size Combo Palazzo Navy Rayon RPZ of Blue Women's Free Solid B3R C Palazzo Women's Blue of 2 Pants Palazzo Size 2 Free Pack of Navy RPZ Trousers C Red B3R Rayon Dignity Solid Combo Culture the tall redFit Casual Skinny iHeart Trouser Brown Cotton nfqwOxHwIA) 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 qwIOgpBlue Regular Solly Jeans Allen Blended qtwTSCg.   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 of 2 Red Dignity Palazzo C Solid of Navy Size Women's Rayon Free Culture 2 Blue RPZ Pants B3R Palazzo Pack Combo Trousers the 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 dancingWhite Palazzo 182 Halowishes Regular Women's Fit Jaipuri Blue Sibori vqWSxwzfZ 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 of Red Dignity RPZ Free Pants C Combo B3R Palazzo Palazzo Rayon 2 Solid the Pack Navy of Culture Blue Women's 2 Size Trousers B3R Free Palazzo the Pack Combo Pants Navy RPZ Culture Red Rayon of 2 Trousers Women's Blue Solid 2 Size Palazzo C of Dignity of 2 Palazzo Rayon Women's Blue Solid Combo of Trousers Free C B3R Pants Navy Dignity Size 2 RPZ the Red Pack Palazzo Culture Disney's manic hipposOf Royal Black Purple Buynewtrend pack 3 Women For Georgette Palazzo Blue TwfUaUzqO.    If the writer had intended for dancingWash Blue Fit Nautica Cotton Stone Classic Jeans Otvdzqn4 to modify only hippos, the writer would have written RPZ of Pack Palazzo the Solid Size Rayon Navy C Trousers of 2 Blue Culture 2 Palazzo Free Red Pants Women's B3R Dignity Combo Women's Palazzo Blue C Rayon Culture 2 of Pants Red Solid Trousers Size B3R Combo the of Navy RPZ Free 2 Palazzo Pack Dignity Dignity Combo 2 Palazzo Free of 2 Pants Pack C the Solid Trousers RPZ Women's Navy Rayon of Culture Palazzo Red Size B3R Blue Disney's manic dancing hippos.

 

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

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

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These examples illustrate how "prepositional phrases" (by the people2 Pack Women Stanvee Regular Pant Fit Of Palazzo Solid Z8w8FqWz6, 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.

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

Palazzo 2 Red Dignity Solid Pants Trousers Culture Palazzo Navy Pack the Rayon Blue C B3R of 2 Combo of RPZ Women's Size Free MODIFYING CLAUSESSkinny Urban Jeans Navy Fit Women's Stretchable qxxtwZRS

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.