When to use pedestals

Pedestals allow you to do two things at once:

This is why pedestals are ONLY used for things with internal structure.

For example, prepositional phrases have the internal structure

P + NP

and the diagram has to show that the preposition governs the NP

When a PP is acting as subjective complement, the diagram of the PP also has to be put into the subjective complement slot on the main line

Grace is under the weather

Similarly, a nominal clause is simply a sentence that has been turned into a structure that can function as a nominal. The diagram needs to show both its internal structure as a sentence, and it has to show the function of the whole clause as a nominal

It is a shame that Cuthbert hates zucchini .

Gerunds are derived from sentences with the gerund taking the place of the original verb. The pedestal not only allows you to distinguish a gerund from a plain noun with the suffix -ing, it also allows you to show the internal structure of the predicate if it has a direct object, an indirect object, or a subjective or objective complement.

Alfric enjoys amazing his friends with diagrams of long, complicated sentences. .

The pedestal also allows you to show explicit subjects of gerund phrases.

Alfric enjoys Bill's amazing his friends with diagrams of long, complicated sentences. .

The nominal infinitive is another structure derived from a sentence. Again, putting nominal infinitives on pedestals allows you to show their internal structure as sentences: here "Alice" (as understood subject of the infinitive) and to visit Paris as predicate.

Alice wants to visit Paris.

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Comments to: Sara Kimball
Last updated January, 2001