"You shouldn't leave a valuable necklace like that in the house, you should put it under lock and key."
Does "like that" modify "valuable", "necklace" or "leave"? i.e., how should I understand the clause " a necklace VALUABLE like that = such a VALUABLE necklace" or "a NECKLACE like that (which is valuable) = such a NECKLACE which is valuable " or "LEAVE like that the necklace in the house"?
Understanding that nuance would help me translate the sentence correctly. Which word should be emphasized in that clause: the noun, the adjective or the verb?
Thank you very much for your help and happy new year 2005!
'a valuable necklace like that' = 'such a valuable necklace'. The full form would be 'a valuable necklace like that valuable necklace' (seems redundant, but then it is used for stress); 'like that' modifies 'valuable necklace'. You could make a case for 'like that' modifying an indicated place in which the necklace has been left, but this would require an examination of further context or tone of voice.
Don't you think it's possible that the speaker refers to the manner in which the necklace was left? 'You shouldn't LEAVE it LIKE THAT...' meaning 'You shouldn't leave it unattended / on the sofa / near the open window etc. just the way it is left right now.
In the absence of a broader context or at least a description of the setting, I cannot guarantee my suggestion to be correct. Just pondering.
May be if "like that" were put at the end of the clause, it would refer to the action of leaving the necklace unattended, i.e., "You should not leave a valuable necklace in the house like that". But since the prepositional phrase is put just after the noun, therefore it is "necklace" which is modified. Mr Micawber must be right, as usual...