Structure of Modification

 
It is composed by Head and Modifier. This structure may enlarge, choose, change, or even describe the Head. Both the Head and Modifier are not always single words. They may be structures with more or less complexities.
Noun as Head
Noun very frequently can be found as Head of Structure of Modification. There are five parts of speech, including noun it self, that can modify the noun.
  1. Adjective as Noun Modifier
Adjective precedes the noun (Head) constantly except if the adjective is not a single word but structure.
E.g.      Modifier                                  Head
            Fried                                       chicken
            A great                                    calamity
           
            Head
            A figure                                   vague and shadow
            A house                                   bigger than I thought
 
  1. Noun as Noun Modifier
This modifier also precedes the Head (noun) constantly.  It can be a possessive form or basic form (Noun Adjunct)
E.g.      Possessive                               Noun
            Kid’s                                       play
            A week’s                                 holiday
            The woman’s                           friend
 
            Noun-Adjunct                         Noun
            Bus                                         station
            That woman                            doctor
Noun adjunct is noun that has a function like an adjective (to modify noun). It is always in a singular form, not plural form.
E.g.      Book shops (not ‘Books Shop’)
Noun as Noun Modifier can be from appositive words. The position still keeps preceding the Head. Appositive form never follows the Head.
E.g.      Noun                                       Appositive
            My Uncle                                Zakki
            The disease                             influenza
The River                                Gangga
  1. Verb as Noun Modifier
It can be from Present Participle (V-Ing), Past Participle (V-ed), or to-infinitive. These verb positions may precede or follow the Head if they are parts of larger   structures, though there are many exceptions to both these generalizations but to-infinitives always follow the noun-Head.
E.g.      Verb                Noun             Noun               Verb
            Running          water               Water               running in the street
            Baked            potatoes           Potatoes          baked slowly
                                                          Money             to buy
                                                          The man           to see
Since verbs in (-ing), Nouns in (-ing), and Adjective in (-ing) can all modify nouns and all appear in the position between noun determiners and noun, ambiguity is a strong possibility to such cases.
E.g.      (1) A pleasing table
            (2) A dining table
            (3) A rotting table
Pleasing in the example (1) is an adjective because a qualifier like ‘very’ can precede it, and the phrase means ‘a table that is pleasing’. Rotting in the example (2) is a verb because it cannot be preceded by a qualifier ‘very’ while it also does not have a meaning ‘a table for rotting’. Dining in the example (3) is noun because it has a meaning ‘a table for dining’
  1. Adverb as Noun Modifier
Adverb is rarely functioned as noun modifier. The position is always directly after noun (Head).
E.g.      Head                           Modifier
            The temperature          inside
            Heavens                      above
            The conversations       afterwards
            The questions              below
  1. Prepositional Phrases (Functional Words) as Noun Modifier
Prepositional phrases consist of preposition and its object. The preposition can be in a simple, compound or phrasal form.
e.g.      Simple Prepositions                 Compound
After                                       Across From
As                                            Along with
Against                                    along side of
Phrasal Prepositions
In regard to
By means of
Object of preposition usually is a noun. Sometimes it also cam be pronoun, or structure of modification with noun as the Head.
            E.g.      Above suspicion (Noun)
                        Because of that (pronoun)
                        In actual practice (Structure of modification)
Verb as Head
Verb has a function repeatedly as Head
  1. Adverb as Verb Modifier
All of the adverb kinds can modify the verb. The position may be after or before verb; or between the verb auxiliaries.
E.g.      After verb                                         Before the verb
            He works successfully                        He successfully tried
He drives rapidly                                He slowly drove
He is moving ahead                           
He was looking sidewise                     Between Auxiliary-Verb
He can swim backward                       He has sometimes seen
He has looked everywhere                  He has seldom been heard
He stepped inside                                It may even rain
            Since particular adverb can also modify the noun, it is often be ambiguous.
            E.g.     
                        Children have nowadays many kinds of toys
In this sentence, the word ‘nowadays’ can modify the word ‘children’, or it may modify the word ‘have’.                                              
  1. Noun as Verb Modifier
Several particular nouns can be verb modifier. The position is after verb and this noun has a noun determiner because noun after verb also can be an object of verb. If the noun can be changed by it or them, the noun must be an object not modifier.
E.g.      Structure of Modification                   Structure of Complementation
            (Noun as Verb Modifier)                     (Noun as The Object)
            He walked this way                            He likes his own way
            He saw a mile                                      He measured a mile
  1. Adjective as Verb Modifier
There are some kinds of adjective that have purpose to modify a verb and give a special expression.
E.g.  The machine ran true
        The dog went crazy
        The show fell flat
The same verb can be followed by adjective if they are intransitive verb.
  1. Verb as Verb Modifier
Some structure of Modification with verb as the Head can be followed by another verb as modifier. The verb modifier can be present participle or infinitive form.
E.g.  The children came running
         He lives to eat
In some cases, it can be found an ambiguity between verb as modifier and verb as object.
E.g.      As modifier                      As Object
He works to succeed       He wants to succeed
Verb as Object can be changed by ‘it’ while verb as modifier cannot be changed by ‘it’. However, some structure of modification may have verb which can be both modifier and object.
E.g.            He loves to live
                  He studies to succeed
  1. Prepositional Phrases as Verb Modifier
It is frequent for the prepositional phrases to modify the verb.
E.g.            (He) spoke about his work
                  (He) came rapidly down the street on a bicycle
Adjective as Head
Adjective that habitually modify noun or verb also become the Head of structure of modification.
  1. Qualifier as Adjective Modifier
The word that is mostly used as modifier of Adjective is Qualifier such as very, rather, pretty, etc.
E.g.  She is very pretty
         The sound was loud enough
  1. Adverb as Adjective Modifier
Adverb that can modify the adjective is adverb that is ended by {-ly}
E.g.   The widely famous (singer)
If adjective comes after the linking verb, adverb does not modify the adjective anymore. The function is as the modifier of the structure of complementation.
E.g.    The house seems clean everywhere
  1. Noun as Adjective Modifier
In some special expression, noun can modify the adjective.
E.g.     Stone cold (coffee)
           Sea green    (cloth)
  1. Verb as Adjective Modifier
Adjective can be modified by the verb in present participle form (-ing) that usually precedes the adjective, or by to-infinitive that follows adjective
E.g.  freezing cold                   hard to say
        boiling hot                       good to see
  1. Adjective as Adjective Modifier
For special expression, adjective can modify the other adjective
E.g.   Icy cold             dark blue         deathly pale
  1. Prepositional Phrases as Adjective Modifier
The position of the prepositional phrases as adjective modifier is after the adjective
      E.g.   easy on the eyes             good for nothing         stronger than ever
Adverb as Head
There are four class words that can modify the adverb
  1. Qualifiers as Adverb Modifier
E.g.            very easily                   rather slowly               happily enough
  1. Adverbs as Adverb Modifier
E.g.            far away                      sometimes below
  1. Noun as Adverb Modifier
E.g.            a meter away               some way up
  1. Prepositional Phrases as Adverb Modifier
E.g.            away for a week          behind in his work      outside in the cold
Function Word as Head
Functional word can form a structure of modification by using qualifier as modifier.
E.g.      very much more (easily)
                              Head
Rather too (strong)
                        Head
 
Not quite (well)
                   Head
Prepositions as Head
Preposition can be a Head of Structure of Modification. Modifier of preposition is qualifiers, adverbs, or particular nouns.
E.g.      very like (a whale)                   almost beneath (notice)
Adverb that follows the prepositional phrases becomes the modifier of prepositional phrases, while adverb that precedes the prepositional phrases becomes the modifier of the preposition only.
 
Reference:       Structure of American English by W. Nelson Francise. Page 297-325
 
                                                        

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