The KISS Grammar Workbooks Back to April Menu
(Code and Color Key)

The Opening Sentences of 
Northanger Abbey, by  Jane Austen
Analysis Key

     No one [Adj. to "No one" who had ever seen Catherine Morland (DO) {in her

infancy}] would have supposed her born to be an heroine [#1]. | Her situation {in 

life}, the character {of her father and mother}, her own person and disposition, were

all equally {against her} (PA). | Her father was a clergyman (PN), {without being 

neglected, or poor [#2]}, and a very respectable man (PN), [Adv. to "respectable" though

his name was Richard (PN)] -- and [#3] [Adv. to "respectable" he had never been 

handsome (PA) .] | He had a considerable independence (DO) {besides two good livings} |

-- and he was not {in the least} addicted (P) {to locking up his daughters [#4]}. | Her mother

was a woman (PN)  {of useful plain sense}, {with a good temper}, and, [ [Inj] what is more 

remarkable (PA),] {with a good constitution}. | She had three sons (DO) [Adv. to "had"

before Catherine was born (P) ]; | and {instead of dying} {in bringing the latter [#5]} {into

the world}, [ [#6] as anybody might expect,] she still lived on -- lived to have six 

children [#7]  more -- to see them growing [#8] up {around her}, and to enjoy excellent health 

herself [#9]. | A family {of ten children} will be always called (P) a fine family (RDO) , [ [#10

where there are heads (PN) and arms (PN) and legs (PN) enough {for the number}]; | but 

the Morlands had little other right (DO) {to the word}, [Adv. to "had" for [#11] they were 

{in general} very plain (PA) ], | and [#12] Catherine, {for many years} {of her life}, *was

as plain (PA)  {as any}. |


Notes
1.  "Heroine" is a predicate noun after the infinitive "to be." That infinitive functions as an adverb to "born." Within the KISS toolbox, there are two ways to explain "her born," but in both the phrase itself functions as the direct object of "would have supposed." The phrase "her born" can be explained either as an infinitive or as a noun absolute. As an infinitive, it is a reduction of "her to have been born." As a noun absolute, "born" is a gerundive modifying "her." 
2.  Although "neglected" could be considered to be part of the gerund "being neglected," the following "or"  suggests that "neglected" and "poor" are both predicate adjectives to the gerund "being." The gerund, of course, functions as the object of "without."
3. Perhaps because they focus on grammatical constructions rather than on real sentences, I have never seen a grammar textbook deal with this phenomenon. Does this "and" join two main clauses? Or does it join the following clause with the preceding "though" clause. From what I know of grammar and grammarians, I would say that the grammarians would split into two camps, equivalent to the two options. Those who base their grammars on form will probably argue that it joins two main clauses. Those who base their grammars on meaning will probably argue that it joins two subordinate clauses.
4. "Daughters" is the direct object of the gerund "locking"; "locking" is the object of "by."
5.  "Latter" is the direct object of the gerund "bringing"; "bringing" functions as the object of the preposition "in." The "in" phrase is embedding in the preceding phrase as an adverb to "dying," which is a gerund that functions as the object of the preposition "instead of."
6. Death in childbirth was more common in Austen's time than it is today, so this clause was probably intended to modify "dying." I cannot, however, see anything in the text that would justify telling students who see it as modifying "lived on" that they are wrong.
7. "Children" is the direct object of the infinitive "to have"; the infinitive phrase functions as an adverb to the second "lived," which functions as an appositive to the first "lived."
8. Grammarians disagree about this construction. The KISS explanation is that "them growing up" is a noun absolute that functions as the direct object of the infinitive "to see." The infinitive functions as an adverb to the second "lived." 
9. I'm curious about how most grammarians would explain "herself," but within KISS it is simply an appositive to "she." "Health" is the direct object of the infinitive "to enjoy"; the infinitive phrase functions as an adverb to the second "lived."
10. This clause functions as an adjective to "family" and/or as an adverb to "will be called."
11. See the discussion of "so" and "for" as conjunctions.
12. This "and" could also be seen as joining the following clause to the preceding "for" clause. See also "Language as a Stream of Meaning."