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  1. #1
    corum is offline Banned
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    What is your reading?

    The drawback of virtual school is lack of human contact, as opposed to a noted merit of traditional education, providing students with ongoing daily interaction with teachers.

    1. human contact = providing students with ongoing daily interaction with teachers

    or

    2. a noted merit of traditional education = providing students with...

    or

    3. traditional education = providing students with...

    IMO the red part is just a side note, an interpolated part, that does not bind with the rest of the sentence. I would go for #1. You?

  2. #2
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    Re: What is your reading?

    I go for no. 2. That appears to me to be the most logical reading. The noted merit of traditional education is that of providing students ...

  3. #3
    lauralie2 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: What is your reading?

    The second one is my choice as well (the first one doesn't make all that much sense):


    1. ? ...lack of human contact,...,providing students with ongoing daily interaction with teachers.
    2. ..., as opposed to a noted merit traditional education, providing students with ongoing daily interaction with teachers.

  4. #4
    corum is offline Banned
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    Re: What is your reading?



    The drawback of virtual school is lack of human contact. as opposed to a noted merit of traditional education, (Human contact in school is about) providing students with ongoing daily interaction with teachers.

    Still no #1?

  5. #5
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    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
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    Re: What is your reading?

    [QUOTE=corum;688019]1. human contact = providing students with ongoing daily interaction with teachers

    or

    2. a noted merit of traditional education = providing students with...

    or

    3. traditional education = providing students with...

    IMO the red part is just a side note, an interpolated part, that does not bind with the rest of the sentence. I would go for #1. You?[/QUOT

    Well, I would prefer the sentence to be punctuated as "...education's providing..." I think the intent of the writer would be more clear that way.

    "Providing" would clearly be a gerund and not a participial phrase.

  6. #6
    lauralie2 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: What is your reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by corum View Post


    The drawback of virtual school is lack of human contact. as opposed to a noted merit of traditional education, (Human contact in school is about) providing students with ongoing daily interaction with teachers.

    Still no #1?
    Nope. Sorry.

    The problem I see with reading #1 is this. The phrase 'human contact' is housed within a larger phrase, one headed by (or introduced by) 'lack', which is what our modifying phrase is attracted to, or rather sees. That is, it sees the entire phrase, not the structure within. Evidence for this is the negation expressed by 'lack':


    4. The drawback of virtual school is lack of human contact, [that is], not providing students with daily ongoing [face-to-face] interaction with teachers.


    Omit the adverb 'not' and the resulting sentence is illogical: lack of human contact [is about] providing students with daily ongoing interaction with teachers.



    Our original sentence follows the same parsing rule: the modifying phrase is attracted to the entire phrase, not the structure within:


    2. The drawback of virtual school is lack of human contact, as opposed to a noted merit of traditional education, [that is], providing students with daily ongoing [face-to-face] interaction with teachers.
    __________
    Does anyone else see the ambiguity in the word "interaction" here, 'providing students with daily ongoing interaction with teachers'?


    • Virtual school provides students with daily ongoing interaction with teachers. Our teachers are available online all day.

  7. #7
    corum is offline Banned
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    Re: What is your reading?

    I agree. I was wrong with my first interpretation. Thanks for the comments. There must have been a blackout in my head.

  8. #8
    corum is offline Banned
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    Re: What is your reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by lauralie2 View Post
    That is, it sees the entire phrase, not the structure within.
    Yes.

  9. #9
    lauralie2 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: What is your reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by corum View Post
    Yes.
    Oh, I am glad you agree. With all the Quirkology going on, I was somewhat reluctant to mention GB.

  10. #10
    corum is offline Banned
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    Re: What is your reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by lauralie2 View Post
    Nope. Sorry.

    The problem I see with reading #1 is this. The phrase 'human contact' is housed within a larger phrase, one headed by (or introduced by) 'lack', which is what our modifying phrase is attracted to, or rather sees.
    The modifier only sees the head: I first heard it put it this way from Casiopeia, a former moderator at UE, also one of the most brilliant syntacticians besides you and some others, from whom I have learnt a lot.


    Quote Originally Posted by lauralie2 View Post
    That is, it sees the entire phrase, not the structure within. Evidence for this is the negation expressed by 'lack':


    [INDENT]4. The drawback of virtual school is lack of human contact, [that is], not providing students with daily ongoing [face-to-face] interaction with teachers.
    Yes. Do appositions modify? If I rename something, or further elaborate on something, do I modify something? What does "modify" mean for a grammarian?

    If I say the cat is black, does the predicate adjective modify the cat? I think so. If I say my cat is this, does 'this' modify 'cat'? I think it identifies my cat but it does not modify it. What is "modify"? Was bedautet es?

    Quote Originally Posted by lauralie2 View Post
    Our original sentence follows the same parsing rule: the modifying phrase is attracted to the entire phrase, not the structure within:
    Renaming can mean modifying?

    Look at this sentence, lauralie, Please. Concentrate on how this abides by what you said above. You wrote:

    The phrase 'human contact' is housed within a larger phrase, one headed by (or introduced by) 'lack', which is what our modifying phrase is attracted to
    one = a larger phrase
    PP= within a larger phrase

    llack = which
    PP = by lack

    Now it seems as if the modifying phrase is attracted in either case to the entire phrase, not to the structure within.

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