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The book on the desk is mine.

When I analyze the sentence, especially the noun phrase The book on the desk, should I say the prepositional phrase on the desk modify the noun phrase The book or the noun book?

What do you native English speakers think? Thank you so much as usual in advance.

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Hans51should I say the prepositional phrase on the desk modify modifies the noun phrase The book no or the noun book yes?

'the' goes outside all the rest, thus:

the [ book [on the desk] ]

CJ

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Thank you so much!

In the title of the book, of the book modifies title, not the title, right?


The yellow book on the desk is mine.

Does on the desk modify yellow book or book?

Thank you so much as usual.

Hans51In the title of the book, of the book modifies title, not the title, right?

Correct.

Hans51The yellow book on the desk is mine.
Does on the desk modify yellow book or book? book

'yellow' and 'on the desk' separately modify 'book'. It goes like this:

the [ [yellow] book [on the desk] ]

determinant [ [ pre-modifiers ] noun [ post-modifiers ] ]


Nevertheless, I have seen these split differently. It depends on which school of linguistics you follow, I suppose.

the [ [ [yellow] book ] [on the desk] ]

I'll just have to say that you should follow either what your teacher advises, if this is for a course, or choose the method you like best.


There is quite a bit of variation in the way these structures are analyzed. Here's one I found online:

the [ big [ [ book [of [poems]] ] [ with [the blue cover] ] ] ]

CJ

CalifJimthe [ [ [yellow] book ] [on the desk] ]

In this analysis, does it say that on the desk modifies yellow book?

Are there any cases where you think that prepositional phrases modify noun phrases including adjectives, not just nouns by any chance?

Thank you so much.

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Hans51the [ [ [yellow] book ] [on the desk] ]
In this analysis, does it say that on the desk modifies yellow book?

Yes, because of the placement of the brackets.

Hans51Are there any cases where you think that prepositional phrases modify noun phrases including adjectives, not just nouns by any chance?

Yes, I suppose that's possible. In fact, I think the case above is like that, but I have never made an exhaustive study of these things, so I can't tell you what the logic behind one analysis or another might be. It's even possible that more than one analysis might be possible depending on how you read the meaning of any particular combination of modifiers. You may even have to take some courses in advanced linguistics to learn the details of this kind of syntactic analysis — something that I, personally, have never done.

CJ

I am sorry about keeping asking the same question.

I have one more question


My bag on the desk is missing.

His car which had been stolen was found yesterday.


Here in these sentences, on the desk also modifies bag, not My bag, right?

which had been stolen modifies car, not His car, right?


And is the meaning of the sentences possible regarless of modification things?

Like only when there are a few bags and a few cars, it makes sense or those sentences are not possible in meaning?

What do you think? Thank you so much as usual.

Hans51

My bag on the desk is missing.
...
Here in these sentences, on the desk also modifies bag, not My bag, right?

Yes. It's [my [ bag [on the desk] ]. In other words, my is the determiner for bag on the desk.

Hans51

His car, which had been stolen, was found yesterday.
...
which had been stolen modifies car, not His car, right?

This one is different. Here which had been stolen is a non-restrictive clause, so I added the commas. That means that the whole clause which had been stolen is supplementary information about 'his car'. This is not considered modification, but you can diagram it in a similar way.

[ [his [ car ] ] [which had been stolen] ]

Here which had been stolen supplements his car.

Remember that I am not an expert at this kind of analysis, so others may have different views.

CJ

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