1- Tryouts for select teams are held in August with practice starting in September. (What does "starting" modify here? )
2- Free tokens will be issued for each tour starting at 8 p.m. in front of the inn. (Does "each tour" start at 8 p.m. or "issuing free token" starts at 8 p.m. ?)
3- In February the NZSIS issued its annual report for the year ending 30 June 2009. (What is the thing that ends here? What does "ending" modify in this sentence?)
4- Below are links to the High School standings for the week ending Sunday, May 23. (What is the thing that ends here? What does "ending" modify in this sentence?)
You’re correct that “ending” can act like an adjective. There is another way to think of these examples: these sentences are using “ending” not as an adjective, but as verb, but dropping the word “is”.
Remember the three forms of present tense:
- This job ends.
- This job is ending.
- This job does end.
The “with” allows the writer to collapse two sentences:
✔️ This job is ending (or ends) (on) Friday. I will be available next week.
✔️ With this job ending Friday, I will be available next week.
With “verbs” in mind, you should see that
with practice starting in September
practice starts in September.
Number two: This construction can potentially be ambiguous
With this example:
Free tokens will be issu ed for each tour starting at 8 p.m. in front of the inn. - (Does "each tour" start at 8 p.m. or "issuing free token" starts at 8 p.m. ?
It is possible for the sentence to mean
A. ✔️ Each tour that starts at 8pm in front of the inn will have free tokens available. All the other tours cost $5 per token.
B. ✔️ Free tokens are available. They can be used on any tour you like. The tokens are distributed at 8:00 in front of the inn.
You need context to know
If the paragraph (context) makes it clear that other tours at other times cost money, then choice (A) would be suggested by the context.
If the context suggests that
all tours usually cost money but free tokens are available or
the tokens are used to fairly allocate a limited supply of spots to a great number of people who are interested or
the context suggests this is simply the way to join a tour
Then choice (B) is indicated by the context.
In the absence of any context, as a native speaker I would guess (B) but think the sentence should have been
- Free tokens will be issued for each tour
,starting at 8 p.m. in front of the inn.
- Free tokens are distributed for each tour, in front of the inn at 8 p.m. nightly.
Other native speakers might well guess choice (A).
TLDR: The construction is ambiguous.
In this construction:
for the year ending 30 June 2009.
The word “for” is a preposition. Prepositional phrases are usually completely self-contained.
They’re allowed to help with your understanding of the complete sentence, but they should be able to be removed while leaving a grammatically correct sentence.
If you consider this a prepositional phrase, and remember that “ending” can be a verb,
- The fiscal year is ending 30 June.
- This is the annual report for that fiscal year.
The meaning should become more clear.