Using pp after a name as an adjective

If I want to mention the condition in which something, for example the light, is exposed to something else like the wind and I am exposed to the first thing (the light), can I say:

I am exposed to the light, exposed to the wind.

(The light is exposed to the wind and I am exposed to the light)

Is it correct? Should I use comma as I did in the top?

Answer

I have no idea what the light is exposed to the wind means, so I’ll consider a more meaningful utterance that I think illustrates the same syntactic/semantic principles…

She held the baby[,] eating ice-cream

…where the highlighted clause (the “condition”) is “ambiguous”, in that it could refer to what she was doing while holding the baby, or what the baby was doing while being held.

If we substitute the pram for the baby in my example, the only possible interpretation is that she was the one eating ice-cream. Equally, if we substitute the pram for she, it must be the baby who’s eating the ice-cream. But these are “pragmatic” interpretations – dictated by our knowledge of what’s possible in the real world, not by the “grammar” as such.

Apart from pragmatism (which interpretation is more likely?) the most important “rule of thumb” is that we normally associate the potentially ambiguous final clause with the nearest preceding noun phrase that makes sense.


But if that ambiguous clause is separated from the primary statement by a comma, this heavily tips the balance towards moving further leftwards to find the relevant referent (the comma represents a pause in speech, which places greater syntactic/semantic “distance” between the preceding and following elements). Thus in my example, if the comma is present we should assume she’s eating ice-cream, not the baby.

Note that this needn’t imply that if the comma isn’t present we should always assume the referent is the immediately-preceding noun phrase (the baby in my example). It’s effectively a stylistic choice whether to include the comma even if we have the pram rather than the baby – but since prams can’t eat ice-cream, only one possible interpretation can apply anyway.

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : Sam , Answer Author : FumbleFingers

Leave a Comment