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Raccoons have a vast transcontinental distribution, occurring throughout most of North America and Central America. (From TOEFL)

Is the logic subject of "occuring" transcontinental distribution, or Raccoons?

How to I distinguish them?

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    You can only distinguish them semantically, not formally. Raccoons occur in places. The distribution is already qualified as transcontinental, but it just is, it isn't in a place.
    – Colin Fine
    Oct 20 '20 at 11:09
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    Raccoons don't occur. They don't happen. Events occur. Can a distribution occur? Maybe, but the sentence is better without the word! "Raccoons have a vast transcontinental distribution throughout most of North America and Central America." Oct 20 '20 at 14:03
  • It doesn't modify anything. It's a supplementary adjunct, a non-modifier.
    – BillJ
    Oct 20 '20 at 19:46

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