By N. F. Blake (auth.)
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Additional resources for An Introduction to the Language of Literature
E. she is raised to the rank of a baronet's lady. The way in which she achieves this elevation is not made clear, for the process is concealed within the thereby. Presumably through the captivation of the baronet she became a lady, but the process of being raised is not made to seem an explicit part of her own action. She did not captivate Sir Thomas in order to be made a baronet's lady; the use of the passive suggests that this elevation followed naturally and without her having to make any moves in that direction.
The noun group is one of the most important building blocks available to the writer, and an analysis of the noun groups in any piece of literature will quickly reveal how the author has approached the task of composition. Inevitably there are writers who wish to avoid too much reliance upon the noun group because this writing may seem too stereotyped or literary. Such writers will tend to go in for much shorter noun groups and will often try to avoid using too many modifiers which have often been associated with a poetic diction, as in the eighteenth century.
The use of participles is common in literary language, partly because they promote brevity in expression through elision of the subject and partly because they may encourage ambiguity because, if the participial adjective is separated from its head, it may be difficult to recognise precisely to which head it refers. As we noted a moment ago although it is possible to have an unlimited number of modifiers, normally there are not more than three. With qualifiers, on the other hand, not only is it possible to have an unlimited number, but also it is very common to have more than three in some varieties of English.
An Introduction to the Language of Literature by N. F. Blake (auth.)