Time expired to claim a winning lottery ticket sold in Mid-Michigan.

Jawel7

Senior Member
Turkish
Hello everyone.
This sentence is from Time expired to claim winning lottery ticket bought in Saginaw
(I was told that giving a source is a must, anyway)

My question is what the function of the part "to claim a winning lottery ticket sold in Mid-Michigan" is.

I think that it modifies the noun "time" and that sentence is totally the same as
"Time to claim a winning lottery ticket sold in Mid-Michigan expired" .

Do you think that I am right? If you don't, where am I wrong? Thanks.
 
  • SevenDays

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Hello everyone.
    This sentence is from Time expired to claim winning lottery ticket bought in Saginaw
    (I was told that giving a source is a must, anyway)

    My question is what the function of the part "to claim a winning lottery ticket sold in Mid-Michigan" is.

    I think that it modifies the noun "time" and that sentence is totally the same as
    "Time to claim a winning lottery ticket sold in Mid-Michigan expired" .

    Do you think that I am right? If you don't, where am I wrong? Thanks.
    No, the infinitive clause (starting with "to claim") does not modify "time." To see what's going on, focus on the underlying structure. In your sentence, there are two verbs ("expired," "to claim"), and therefore two clauses.

    [
    Time expired] [to claim a winning lottery ticket sold in sold in mid-Michigan]

    The first clause has a subject ("time"); the second clause doesn't have a subject, but the subject appears in the underlying structure:

    [
    Time expired] [for <subject> to claim a winning lottery ticket sold in mid-Michigan]

    As you can see, the subject of the second clause is introduced by "for," something quite common with infinitives. What happens next is this: the subject of the second clause gets deleted (along with "for") because the second subject is not needed to get the point of the sentence across; it's understood that the second subject is a person or more than one person (i.e. "the winner(s)" or something alone those lines). That's how we get Time expired to claim a winning lottery ticket sold in mid-Michigan.

    By the way, something else gets deleted: the subject and verb of a relative clause that modifies "ticket:" Time expired to claim a winning lottery ticket that was sold in Mid-Michigan.

    All of these elements get deleted because they are not important in the overall message. Language is always partial to simplicity, and that's particularly true in journalism, where space is tight, and where it's assumed that readers prefer concise writing.

    Back to your original sentence. Some will say that "to claim ..." modifies "expired," so it's an adverbial function; others won't use that term, because "expired" is not the "head" of "to claim..." (remember that there are two clauses, and therefore two different structures) and might go with something like "adjunct" (adjuncts are not attached to "heads"). What label you use here is not terribly important (though people can get worked up about it).
     

    Jawel7

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    No, the infinitive clause (starting with "to claim") does not modify "time." To see what's going on, focus on the underlying structure. In your sentence, there are two verbs ("expired," "to claim"), and therefore two clauses.

    [
    Time expired] [to claim a winning lottery ticket sold in sold in mid-Michigan]

    The first clause has a subject ("time"); the second clause doesn't have a subject, but the subject appears in the underlying structure:

    [
    Time expired] [for <subject> to claim a winning lottery ticket sold in mid-Michigan]

    As you can see, the subject of the second clause is introduced by "for," something quite common with infinitives. What happens next is this: the subject of the second clause gets deleted (along with "for") because the second subject is not needed to get the point of the sentence across; it's understood that the second subject is a person or more than one person (i.e. "the winner(s)" or something alone those lines). That's how we get Time expired to claim a winning lottery ticket sold in mid-Michigan.

    By the way, something else gets deleted: the subject and verb of a relative clause that modifies "ticket:" Time expired to claim a winning lottery ticket that was sold in Mid-Michigan.

    All of these elements get deleted because they are not important in the overall message. Language is always partial to simplicity, and that's particularly true in journalism, where space is tight, and where it's assumed that readers prefer concise writing.

    Back to your original sentence. Some will say that "to claim ..." modifies "expired," so it's an adverbial function; others won't use that term, because "expired" is not the "head" of "to claim..." (remember that there are two clauses, and therefore two different structures) and might go with something like "adjunct" (adjuncts are not attached to "heads"). What label you use here is not terribly important (though people can get worked up about it).
    I see but saying the infinitive clause is an adverbial generates some problems for me. How is it an adverbial?
    We use infinitive clauses referring to verbs in order to give detail about the verb, how that process/action is performed.
    According to you, What does "to claim...." explain, give messages about?
    "I came here to see you.", We can say that "to see you" explains why I came here.
    Or If you agreed with me, we would say:" To claim..." modifies "time" and says which time is expired.

    But what about your suggestion structure?
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The OP line is a headline and so abbreviated. If you wanted to write the whole thing out in detail, you could do so like this:

    The time has expired in which it would have been possible to claim the prize from a winning lottery ticket that was sold in Mid-Michigan.
     

    Jawel7

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    The OP line is a headline and so abbreviated. If you wanted to write the whole thing out in detail, you could do so like this:

    The time has expired in which it would have been possible to claim the prize from a winning lottery ticket that was sold in Mid-Michigan.
    So your opinion is also that the infinitive clause modifies "time". Because the part "in which ...." obviously refers to "time", right? If you intend this meaning, I agree with you.
     

    SevenDays

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    So your opinion is also that the infinitive clause modifies "time". Because the part "in which ...." obviously refers to "time", right? If you intend this meaning, I agree with you.
    Refer and modify are not the same thing. "Refer" is semantics; the meaning of "something" is derived from "something else." So, in A dog came into the house and it bit me, "it" refers back to "a dog," but "it" doesn't modify "a dog." "Modifier" is syntax: A "modifier" is a constituent in a construction that has a "head," and the modifier "modifies" this head. In The dog that came into my house is my own dog, the structure "the dog that came into my house" is a noun phrase; here, the relative clause "that came into my house" is a constituent of the noun phrase (the relative clause modifies the head "the dog").

    As I said earlier, the infinitive clause doesn't modify "time" because "time" is not the "head" of the infinitive clause.
     

    Jawel7

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Refer and modify are not the same thing. "Refer" is semantics; the meaning of "something" is derived from "something else." So, in A dog came into the house and it bit me, "it" refers back to "a dog," but "it" doesn't modify "a dog." "Modifier" is syntax: A "modifier" is a constituent in a construction that has a "head," and the modifier "modifies" this head. In The dog that came into my house is my own dog, the structure "the dog that came into my house" is a noun phrase; here, the relative clause "that came into my house" is a constituent of the noun phrase (the relative clause modifies the head "the dog").

    As I said earlier, the infinitive clause doesn't modify "time" because "time" is not the "head" of the infinitive clause.
    But you don't have to put a modifier just after the thing it modifies. There is no rule like this.

    - The ring was sold for 5 dollars that I had taken from my mother as an important souvenir just after my birthday.
    The bold part is definitely a modifier of "the ring" even if it is located at the end of the sentence and the subject is in the beginning.

    I am talking about the museum in the U.K where I was the most fascinating after what I saw.
    The bold part obviously modifies "the museum" even if it is far away from "the museum".

    I think you are thinking that the only way for a modifier to modify a noun is to be located just after it, but it is not true.
     

    SevenDays

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    But you don't have to put a modifier just after the thing it modifies. There is no rule like this.

    - The ring was sold for 5 dollars that I had taken from my mother as an important souvenir just after my birthday.
    The bold part is definitely a modifier of "the ring" even if it is located at the end of the sentence and the subject is in the beginning.

    I am talking about the museum in the U.K where I was the most fascinating after what I saw.
    The bold part obviously modifies "the museum" even if it is far away from "the museum".

    I think you are thinking that the only way for a modifier to modify a noun is to be located just after it, but it is not true.
    In both cases you have a relative clause modifying its respective "head" ("the ring" and "the UK"). (The second example is rather odd, but no matter.) In each case, the relative clause and its head form a syntactic unit, even if the relative clause doesn't come immediately after the head. In your original example, "the time" and the infinitive clause don't form a syntactic unit, so the infinitive clause doesn't modify "the time."
     

    Jawel7

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    In both cases you have a relative clause modifying its respective "head" ("the ring" and "the UK"). (The second example is rather odd, but no matter.) In each case, the relative clause and its head form a syntactic unit, even if the relative clause doesn't come immediately after the head. In your original example, "the time" and the infinitive clause don't form a syntactic unit, so the infinitive clause doesn't modify "the time."
    Well, could you please tell me what the infinitive clause in the original example is doing there? Explaining what? Giving more detail about what?
    An infinitive clause after the verb can give a purpose, maybe, but there is no reason, purpose there. What does it explain to us?
     

    SevenDays

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Well, could you please tell me what the infinitive clause in the original example is doing there? Explaining what? Giving more detail about what?
    An infinitive clause after the verb can give a purpose, maybe, but there is no reason, purpose there. What does it explain to us?
    If they simply said "Time expired," would you understand that they mean? You need a subordinate clause (the infinitive clause) to explain the meaning of the main clause. That's all.

    If you want to make the infinitive clause a "modifier" of "time," then you need a relative pronoun (because "time" is not the subject of "to claim"): Time in which to claim a winning lottery ticket sold in Mid-Michigan expired. To make this analysis work, we need to introduce an extra element, the complex relative pronoun "in which."
     
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