A question from the grave...

Glaçon

Senior Member
Russia, russian
How does it mean: "one entire painted-wood kiva shrine"?. Is the shrine wooden and it's entirely painted? Then, why "painted-wood" is written through a hyphen? Thanks.
 
  • Sharon

    Senior Member
    United States, English
    Hello Glaçon,

    Well, I have to admit, this one is confusing to me. A kiva is usually underground, or at least partially underground. When I was at the cave dwellings at Mesa Verde, the park had a lot of the kivas closed to the public - they had eroded to the point that they were no longer safe for people to tour. With that in my mind, I think that is what your quote means by "entire" - it has not eroded or been damaged by the passing of time. (They found the kiva in "entirety.")

    I would consider the hyphen optional, but I could be wrong about that.

    If this does not help you, can you give a little more context?

    Sharon.:)
     

    lsp

    Senior Member
    NY
    US, English
    Glaçon said:
    How What does it mean: "one entire painted-wood kiva shrine"? Is the shrine wooden and it's entirely painted? Then, why is "painted-wood" is written through with a hyphen? Thanks.
    Hyphens are confusing, Here's an interesting thread on the subject of hyphens that might help. Hope these few corrections help, too. :)
     

    garryknight

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    Glaçon said:
    How does it mean: "one entire painted-wood kiva shrine"?. Is the shrine wooden and it's entirely painted? Then, why "painted-wood" is written through a hyphen? Thanks.
    It means that the kiva shrine is entire (that is, no pieces are missing, and it's presumably not broken) and it is made of painted wood. The reason 'painted-wood' is hyphenated is that it is an adjectival phrase that qualifies the noun phrase 'kiva shrine'. When you construct an adjectival phrase of this kind it's usual to hyphenate it, simply so that the reader can be certain about what you mean. That's how I know that it was a kiva shrine made of painted wood, because it was a 'painted-wood kiva shrine'. It's also how I know that the word 'entire' is an adjective qualifying the noun phrase 'painted-wood kiva shrine'. I hope I've made it a little clearer, but if not, please let me know.
     
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