More on Prepositional Chains

 Collocated verbs will go a long way in relatively simple text such as emails. As the text becomes more complex, the length of the chain extends, to describe a more complex situation. Here is an example from a specification.

allowperform.JPG (97972 bytes)

 We have four prepositions to account for. The layered verbs and object on the left side are a boundary.

 Preposition 1

 Allow in accordance with procedures
Perform in accordance with procedures
Diagnosis in accordance with procedures

 All of these work. There is a comma before iaw, so we will jump back to “perform”. This cuts off access to “diagnosis”. We should make sure we are not cutting off necessary access by another preposition (sometimes commas are included without good reason), so it helps to have run through all of the prepositions before deciding.

 Preposition 2

Procedures for systems
Perform for systems
Allow for systems

 They all work, although “perform for systems” really needs “performs what for systems”. There is a comma before the “for”, suggesting a jump back, so we will use “perform” for systems. This jump back cuts off access to “procedures” for “without” and “to”.

 Preposition 3

 Systems without recourse
Perform without recourse
Allow without recourse

 without recourse” implies an action – the closest is “perform”.

 Preposition 4

 Recourse to vehicle
Perform to vehicle
Allow to vehicle

 Recourse has a strong collocation to “to”, and we would need a good reason to jump over the negation in “without”.

 The final structure looks like

allowperform1.JPG (73584 bytes)

Moving left in the chain only on failure is too crude for long chains. If a left hand object is not present, we would accept the available object, as in

perform diagnoses according to procedures………….”

“A diagnosis according to procedures was given………………”

The method has to be able to see more of the sentence structure.