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A cabin stood at the end of the trail, on the edge of a mountain lake.

My analysis on what "on the edge of a mountain lake" modifies in this sentence is that it can modify "a cabin" or "the trail".

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  • Or the entire clause. – Jason Bassford Apr 9 '19 at 5:25
  • @ Jason Bassford then, you think it can be seen as modifying "the trail, a cabin, and the entire clause" ? – GKK Apr 9 '19 at 5:30
  • What is the source of the quote? – James K Apr 9 '19 at 6:02
  • @JamesK I just brought it from this link quora.com/… – GKK Apr 9 '19 at 6:05
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    If one part of a sentence modifies a noun or noun phrase, then replacing the noun or noun phrase with a pronoun simply means that part of the sentence now modifies the pronoun. Substituting a pronoun might make the referent less clear, but it doesn't change the essential grammar. – Jason Bassford Aug 25 '19 at 15:36
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It could be either. But pragmatically we are more interested in the cabin, and it is more likely that a cabin is located on a lake than the path that leads to it. It would be understood as implying that the cabin was by a lake.

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