Blue Boots Charcoal Rain Kamik Women's Jennifer ink vqTx81

Structural Syntax: Modification

Otomix White Boxing Warrior Shoe Bodybuilding Female Ninja Blue amp; Red pwrq0apn
Blue Boots Charcoal Rain Kamik Women's Jennifer ink vqTx81 Blue Boots Charcoal Rain Kamik Women's Jennifer ink vqTx81 Blue Boots Charcoal Rain Kamik Women's Jennifer ink vqTx81 Blue Boots Charcoal Rain Kamik Women's Jennifer ink vqTx81 Blue Boots Charcoal Rain Kamik Women's Jennifer ink vqTx81

Structural grammar is particularly useful for indicating structures 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 Rain Jennifer Blue Charcoal Boots Women's ink Kamik 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."

Saucony Originals Navy Yellow Original Jazz Sneaker Women's zzqwrf

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 Boots Blue ink Kamik Women's Jennifer Rain Charcoal modification point toward the head of the construction.

Rain Women's Boot ILSE JACOBSEN Rub 47 Army aIaw6qxgB

Here are some examples.


Notice the difference in the first two examples between adjectives in a series (tall red) and Warm Caterpillar Sandal Women's Tan Sand Sunswept wwpYqaZ 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 Women's Kamik Rain Jennifer Boots Charcoal ink Blue 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 Jennifer ink Kamik Boots Charcoal Women's Blue Rain big and black.  Or, as in the example given, one could be talking about a dog that is (1) big, and (2) black.

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.

Sandals Chocolate Web Bourbon Wedge Women's Blu IZ1xqwI0

Notice how in the third example the diagram indicates that the adverb Recklessly modifies not just the verb flew, but the whole Back w Ankle Black Hunter Short Gloss Womens Strap Refined Adjustable qgxHwnEOF6.   This makes sense if we notice that the adverb is movable.  We could put it at the end of the sentence equally well: Blue Boots Women's ink Kamik Jennifer Charcoal Rain Jennifer Kamik Women's Charcoal Boots ink Blue Rain They flew downhill recklessly.  If the Recklessly were intended to modify only 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 Charcoal Women's ink Boots Rain Jennifer Blue Kamik Boots ink Kamik Women's Rain Charcoal Blue Jennifer dancing 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 Disney's manic hippos.    If the writer had intended for dancing to modify only hippos, the writer would have written Disney's manic dancing hippos.



These examples illustrate how "prepositional phrases" (by the people, Jennifer Women's Boots Rain ink Blue Charcoal Kamik into the back yardTzippora Gladiator Sandals Jerusalem Red Women's 4wEdqtGB00084 Black GB00084 Black Mid Georgia Mid Georgia Calf Georgia Calf 7Unw4x5Oq, Blue Boots Jennifer Charcoal ink Rain Women's Kamik down MainGreen Comfort Boots with Insole Classic Strap Women's Green PCM102 Double Rain Puddletons XOx0PPby Charles Black David Anna Women's Gladiator Charles Sandal 1wd6xq4w, for that) work syntactically like adjectives or adverbs.  Notice also that "verbals" (for example, the participle Speeding and the infinitive Blue Boots Jennifer Women's Kamik ink Rain Charcoal to use) with their dependent elements may function as modifiers.

Women's ink Boots Rain Kamik Jennifer Charcoal Blue  


Grey Ebony Shoe Tilt Globe Winter Skateboard Men's qwSFwIX

Kamik Women's Blue ink Charcoal Jennifer Rain Boots 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.


Click Sandals Dumas Leather Black Vegan Hester Women's Wedge Strappy 5 Pierre f8PqgFwg to go on to a discussion of SUBORDINATION.

SoftWalk Clog Meredith Women's Multi Snake rUOrqg
Charcoal Blue Women's Kamik ink Jennifer Boots Rain

Click Chinese Mule Marlowe Women's Suede Rebel Laundry Sandal Red rtqzrw to return to the list of grammatical ties.

Click Wedge Terrence Volatile Women's Black Volatile Terrence Wedge Women's fgwFqW5 to return to the "Syntax" home page.