Frb 13, 2014
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KISS Level 3.1.3.  - Embedded Clauses and the Analytical Process


Notes for Teachers
The Analytical Process
Exercise # 1  An Example of Embedded Clauses
Exercises 2 a - e, Embedded Clauses
Exercise 3, A Passage for Analysis
Ambiguities That Result from Embedding
Notes for Teachers

     Technically, any subordinate clause is embedded in a main clause. But students do not have much of a problem seeing the structure of a subordinate clause within a main clause. They do, however, have problems untangling subordinate clauses that are embedded in subordinate clauses that are embedded in subordinate clauses. The exercises in this KISS Level are, therefore, simply aimed at helping students untangle these levels of embedding. 
     Because it is a classic and an excellent example of embedded subordinate clauses (twelve deep), the last sentence of “The House That Jack Built” is the first exercise in each of the KISS Level 3.1.3 sections. Exercises two through six are just that. Most students will need practice at untangling heavily embedded clauses. Exercise seven insures that every grade-level will have at least one exercise based on a complete passage.The “suppose you say that I said that she said” play in 78-word passage from Kipling’s “The Beginning of the Armadilloes” makes it another humorous, but challenging exercise with third and fourth level embeddings of subordinate clauses.

Suggested Directions for Analytical Exercises

[Note that these are identical to the directions for Level 3.1.2]
1. Place parentheses ( ) around each prepositional phrase.
2. Underline verbs twice, their subjects once, and label complements (“PA,” “PN,” “IO,” or “DO”).
3. Place brackets [ ] around each subordinate clause. If the clause functions as a noun, label its function. If it functions as an adjective or adverb, draw an arrow from the opening bracket to the word that the clause modifies.
4. Place a vertical line after each main clause. 
For review, add:
5. Label each interjection (“Inj”), each noun used as an adverb (“NuA”), and each example of direct address (“DirA”).

Probable Time Required
     If you have been taking the low learning curve apporach to clauses [See Level 3.1.2], you'll probably want to do three or four exercises from this section. Ideally, at this point in your work with KISS, your students should be spending most of their time with KISS on logic and style exercises and on analyzing selections from their own reading and writing.
 
The Analytical Process
[Instructional Material]
      As the essay on  "The Importance of  Method" suggests, method is always important, but it is particularly important in learning to untangle deeply embedded subordinate clauses. I have tried to suggest this in two sets of exercises, one on twelve cut jokes about children in church, and one from "The Fishhawk," McGuffey's Second Reader. The method, of course, is highly repetitive, which makes the analysis keys extremely long. I have thus not included these materials in the "complete" books, but you may want to look at them on-line for ideas about how you may want to have students analyze sentences in class (thereby leading them to use the method).
Exercise # 1  An Example of Embedded Clauses 
Because it is an extreme example of the depth at which subordinate clasues can be embedded, "The House That Jack Bulit" is the first exercise in KISS Level 3.1.3 in all of the "complete" workbooks.
"The House That Jack Built" Text AK ToC G4; IG 5
Exercises 2 a - e: Embedded Clauses
From "The Happy Rattle," by Johnny Gruelle Text AK ToC G4
From the Writing of Fourth Graders (# 1) (S 5) AK ToC G4; IG4
From the Writing of Fourth Graders (# 2) (S 5) AK ToC G4; IG4
From "The Nightingale," by H. C. Andersen (S 7) Text AK ToC G4; IG5
Lang's Thumbelina (Ex # 5) Text AK ToC G4
Lang's Thumbelina (Ex # 6) Text AK ToC -

From"The Three Tasks" (Grimm, S 5) Text AK ToC -
From Kipling's "The Elephant's Child" (53 W) AK ToC G5
Ex # 1 from "Sally Migrundy," by Johnny Gruelle (S 5) Text AK ToC G5
Ex # 2 from "Sally Migrundy," by Johnny Gruelle (S 5) " AK " -
From Lang's  "How Brave Walter Hunted Wolves" (S 7) Text AK ToC G6
From the Writing of Sixth Graders AK ToC G6; IG 6
From Johanna Spyri's Heidi AK ToC G6
From "Perseus," by Charles Kingsley AK ToC G6
From The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett AK ToC G6
"Noah's Snakes" (Humor) AK ToC G7
Famous Quotations Ex # 1 AK ToC G7
Tongue Twisters - Ex # 5  ("How Much Wood ...?") AK ToC G7
Humorous Definitions (Ex # 2) AK ToC G8
Sherwood Anderson's "The Egg" Ex # 1 (S 3) Text AK ToC -
Sherwood Anderson's "The Egg" Ex # 2 (S 4) " AK " G8
Sherwood Anderson's "The Egg" Ex # 3 (S 3) " AK " -
Sherwood Anderson's "The Egg" Ex # 4 (S 3) " AK " -
Sherwood Anderson's "The Egg" Ex # 5 (S 3) " AK " -
Ex # 1 From A Dog of Flanders by Ouida (S 4) AK ToC G8
Ex # 2 From A Dog of Flanders by Ouida (S 2) AK ToC G8
Ex # 3 From A Dog of Flanders by Ouida (S 2) AK ToC -
Ex # 4 From A Dog of Flanders by Ouida (S 2) AK ToC -
From the Writing of Ninth Graders AK ToC G9
Analogies Found in High School Writing AK ToC G9
From The Last of the Mohicans, by James Fenimore Cooper AK ToC G9
From The Master of Ballantrae, by R. L. Stevenson AK ToC G9
From A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens AK ToC G9

For Single Year Plan

From A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens AK ToC 1YM

 
Exercise 3, A Passage for Analysis
From Vredenburg's "Snow-White and Rose-Red" Text AK ToC G4
From Ch 1 of Blue Willow, by Doris Gates AK ToC G6
From Kipling's "Beginning of the Armadilloes" (78 W) AK ToC G6
    The "suppose you say that I said that she said" play in this 78-word passage makes it a humorous, but challenging exercise with third and fourth level embeddings of subordinate clauses.
From Chapter Eight of Blue Willow, by Doris Gates AK ToC G7
Ex # 5 From A Dog of Flanders by Ouida (100 W) AK ToC G8
Ex # 6 From A Dog of Flanders by Ouida (73 W) AK ToC -
Ex # 7 From A Dog of Flanders by Ouida (86 W) AK ToC -
Ex # 8 From A Dog of Flanders by Ouida (81 W) AK ToC -
Ex # 9 From A Dog of Flanders by Ouida  (68 W) AK ToC -
Ex # 10 From A Dog of Flanders by Ouida  (94 W) AK ToC -
Ex # 11 From A Dog of Flanders by Ouida  (103 W) AK ToC -
From A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens AK ToC G9
From “Old Put” The Patriot, by Frederick Ober AK ToC G10
Ambiguities That Result from Embedding

     Embedding increases naturally with age, but as more and more words are packed into a single main clause, words and constructions begin to get in the way of each other, thereby causing ambiguity. Consider the following sentence which was written by a college Freshman:

The stage at the Bucks County Playhouse impresses any actor who performs there with such things as the thirty-six fly ropes that line the stage left wall and the roof that rises three stories. 
There are several ways of interpreting the clause structure of this sentence, each of which results in a slight, but perhaps significant difference in meaning. For one, the "who" clause can be explained as ending at "there," or it may extend all the way to "stories":
The stage at the Bucks County Playhouse impresses any actor [who performs there] with such things as the thirty-six fly ropes that line the stage left wall and the roof that rises three stories.
or
The stage at the Bucks County Playhouse impresses any actor [who performs there with such things as the thirty-six fly ropes that line the stage left wall and the roof that rises three stories]
Syntactically, the difference is that in the first version, the phrase "with such things" (and the rest of the sentence, all of which modifies "things") is viewed as modifying "impresses," whereas in the second version, it is considered to be modifying "performs." The different, but equally correct, syntactic analyses, however, lead to two different possible meanings. In the first version, anyone who performs on the stage, for example, a singer, would be impressed. In the second version, however, only those who perform with the fly ropes and tall stage would be impressed.
      The second ambiguity involves the "and" between "wall" and "the roof." What does it join? Some of my students see it as connecting "wall" and "roof" as direct objects of "line":
The stage at the Bucks County Playhouse impresses any actor [who performs there with such things as the thirty-six fly ropes [that line the stage left wall and the roof [that rises three stories]]]. |
This would mean that the fly ropes are hung such that they form lines along both the left wall of the stage and the roof. Other students, however, see the "and" as joining "roof" with "fly ropes" as compound objects of the preposition "as":
The stage at the Bucks County Playhouse impresses any actor [who performs there with such things as the thirty-six fly ropes [that line the stage left wall] and *as* the roof [that rises three stories]]|
In this version, there is no indication that the fly ropes form lines along the roof. Some people may consider the ambiguities in this sentence as unimportant, but if they do, they miss the point. If your sentences become too heavily embedded, not only will they be difficult for readers to process, but readers will also be more likely to misinterpret what you meant.