diagramming in The Boston Tea Party

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diagramming in The Boston Tea Party

Postby Kathie in VA » Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:49 am

We were having issues diagramming the word 'below' in, "Still they yell and whoop; and over go the chests into the dark water below."
The answer key has it under 'water'. There was a post back on the old boards (http://lene.proboards.com/index.cgi) that suggested it is a preposition but the author chose to not write in the object of the preposition 'them'. It would then be adverbial modifying the entire prepositional phrase. How do you show that on a diagram?

You also suggested that 'below' couldn't be an adverb to 'go' but I don't understand why not. I thought adverbs could be almost anywhere in the sentence. If that's so, then we don't need to assume that the author wrote an incomplete prepositional phrase by omitting the object of the preposition and we can resort to calling 'below' an adverb since it doesn't have an object. This is one of the concepts we use to distinguish adverbs from prepositions.

But if you define 'below' as a preposition, then it has to show the relationship of a noun or pronoun to another word in the sentence. Doesn't it show the relationship between 'them' and the 'water'? Which means it acts like an adjective modifying water. How can you tell if it is modifying the object of a preposition or the whole prepositional phrase?

thanks.
Kathie in VA
oh my, the things we let our minds ponder upon!
Kathie in VA
 
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Re: diagramming in The Boston Tea Party

Postby Carolyn » Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:12 pm

Sometimes I wonder if pondering grammar too long leadeth unto madness.

The diagram I have shows 'below' modifying the prepositional phrase. It's shown by having a short perpendicular line come away from and down from the line on which the preposition is, then a line perpendicular to that with the word on it. If you're familiar with how two adjectives are diagrammed when one modifies another (like sentence 14 in http://german-latin-english.com/basicdiagrams11-15.htm), it's the same idea.

Personally, I'd like 'below' to be an adjective. It tells me where the water is -- and words modifying nouns are usually adjectives. Except words telling where are adverbs. Messy, messy grammar. Because the sense of the sentence is that the chests are going OVER into the water below, not going BELOW into the water which is over something, or going over and below, I chose to have 'below', working as an adverb, modify the whole prepositional phrase.

http://1aiway.com/nlp4net/services/enparser/ is a nifty diagramming tool that have 'below' diagrammed as an adverb modifying 'go'. It may be one of those things for which there is more than one correct answer.

Does that help?
Carolyn
 
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Re: diagramming in The Boston Tea Party

Postby Kathie in VA » Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:10 pm

yep, that works. thanks!
Kathie in VA
 
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