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The motorist, confused by conflicting directions, lost his way.
Type of verbal phrase ___?
Being used as a( n)_____?
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AnonymousThe motorist, confused by conflicting directions, lost his way.
I'd say it's a reduced non-restrictive relative clause (i.e., adjectival) modifying 'motorist'.

The motorist, who was confused by conflicting directions, lost his way.

On the other hand, there is another parsing that shows aspects of adverbial constructions:

(Because he was) confused by conflicting directions, the motorist lost his way.

I wonder if there even exists a way to be sure that either one is the "correct interpretation".

CJ
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Comments  
Anonymous The motorist, 1) confused by conflicting directions, lost his way.Type of verbal phrase __?Being used as a____?
Type of verbal phrase ___? 1) past participle functioning as adverbial phrase modifying the motorist..
Being used as an___? adverbial modifier
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Dimsum;
Are you saying that adverbs can modify nouns?
Hi Star,
No I meant (confused by conflicting directions) the whole phrase made up of the past participle is functioning as an adverbial.

If this is the correct interpretation which I think it is, then it would be a non-finite clause.

You may made correction if I am wrong.
I meant: make correction. my finger is faster than my brain...!
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 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
CalifJimThe motorist, who was confused by conflicting directions, lost his way.On the other hand, there is another parsing that shows aspects of adverbial constructions:(Because he was) confused by conflicting directions, the motorist lost his way.I wonder if there even exists a way to be sure that either one is the "correct interpretation"
So true Jim! That's why I used the word "interpretation".
CalifJimI wonder if there even exists a way to be sure that either one is the "correct interpretation".
CJ;

I think people ask us these questions because it is on their homework or a test. So we have to "get in the head of the teacher" and come up with the most probable answer. Usually that would be based on traditional, conventional grammar rules, rather than some modernist linguistic theory. (which seem to abound these days!) the hint here is "What type of verbal phrase is this?"

With my "conventional grammarian" hat on, I read it this way (with the agent left out)
The confused motorist lost his way.

(Past) participial phrase, adjective.

If you take the second interpretation (adverbial), then what does it modify?
I've never heard that an adverb functions as a noun modifier.
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Hi AlpheccaStars
AlpheccaStarsI've never heard that an adverb functions as a noun modifier.
This was the question you asked me earlier and I replied, Forgive me for being ignorant. Please explain how you concluded with the idea that I suggested an adverb could modify noun. I only used the word "adverbial", which is to suggest any form of non-finite verb phrase or preposition phrase may be considered as such, and the one in discussion is just that in my judgement. I made it clear in my reply. If I am wrong, please correct me, I like to know why. I am not a grammarian so to confirm my understanding, I did more research. With my findings, I am more convinced that the phrase made up if the past participle "confused by conflicting directions...." is a non-finite clause which qualifies it a an adverbial, modifying the "lost motorist". If I learned it correctly, we can also rearrange the adverbial:
Confused by conflicting directions, the motorist lost his way. The point is this, if the explanations below holds true, then CJ's interpretation and mine were valid in my estimation, and I believe there is more than one way to skin the cat. Would this be a valid statement from a grammarian perspective?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In linguistics, an absolute construction is a grammatical construction standing apart from a normal or usual syntactical relation with other words or sentence elements. It can be a non-finite clause that is subordinate in form and modifies an entire sentence, an adjective or possessive pronoun standing alone without a modified substantive , or a transitive verb when its object is implied but not stated.[1][2][3][4] The term absolute derives from Latin absolūtum, meaning "loosened from" or "separated".[5]
Because the non-finite clause, called the absolute clause (or simply the absolute), is not semantically attached to any single element in the sentence, it is easily confused with a dangling participle .[4] The difference is that the participial phrase of a dangling participle is intended to modify a particular noun, but is instead erroneously attached to a different noun, whereas a participial phrase serving as an absolute clause is not intended to modify any noun at all.

www.ucl.ac.uk/internet-grammar/clauses/finite.htm
5. [Deprived of oxygen], plants will quickly die Finite Nonfinite
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