Snowy linen land

  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    You know this song is about the artist Vincent van Gogh, don't you? The "snowy linen land" refers to the canvas that he painted on.


    Senior Member
    I know indeed, but question is the meaning of the words in the terms of pure syntax. :)
    Last edited:

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    There isn't really a clear way of telling how the three words are related to each other. I think, whichever way it is read, that the land has to be made of linen and that it is white ("snowy" could modify "linen" or "land", but in this case I cannot think it matters which). Common sense suggests that the whole canvas is the same, so that it is land of white linen (or white land of linen), rather than land within the snowy linen (the rest of the linen being something else). Even if the land is within the snowy linen, it would still, presumably, be white.

    It is almost impossible to analyse sentences in English without knowing what they refer to, and it is very difficult to reconstruct what is meant from someone's description, if you don't already know quite a lot about it.
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