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Actors, singers, politicians and countless others recognise the power of the human voice as a means of communication beyond the simple decoding of the words that are used. Learning to control your voice and use it for different purposes is, therefore, one of the most important skills to develop as an early career teacher. The more confidently you give instructions, the higher the chance of a positive class response. There are times when being able to project your voice loudly will be very useful when working in school, and knowing that you can cut through a noisy classroom, dinner hall or playground is a great skill to have. However, I would always advise that you use your loudest voice incredibly sparingly and avoid shouting as much as possible. A quiet, authoritative and measured tone has so much more impact than slightly panicked shouting.

Source: Essential Guides for Early Career Teachers: Understanding and Developing Positive Behaviour in Schools By Patrick Garton


I think that the bold part is analyzed in the following way: recognise / the power of / the human voice as a means of communication beyond the simple decoding of the words that are used/.
I think that "the power of the human voice as a means of communication beyond the simple decoding of the words that are used" is the object of the verb "recognise".
I think that the object of "the power of" is "the human voice as a means of communication beyond the simple decoding of the words that are used".
I think that "as a means of communication beyond the simple decoding of the words that are used" describes "the human voice".
I think that "beyond the simple decoding of the words that are used" describes "a means of communication".
However I'm not sure. I'm having trouble understanding the grammatical construction of the bold part.
How is the bold part parsed?

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    What is causing difficulty here? The bold part stops at a rather strange point. Do you suppose the phrase ends here. Why do you think "recognise" starts the phrase? What part of speech is "recognise" Does that help? Please edit to include you own best effort to parse this.
    – James K
    Commented May 15, 2023 at 21:08
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    Would something like "He recognised the man as his brother" be more comprehensible?
    – Stuart F
    Commented May 15, 2023 at 21:17
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    In your edit you have split the sentence into phrases. Now to continue your parsing, try adding labels to those phrases. Add labels like "verb", "Noun" , "adjective phrase", subject, "object" and so on (some parts may have more than one label)
    – James K
    Commented May 16, 2023 at 5:20
  • @JamesK I'm sorry that it's messy. Commented May 16, 2023 at 5:44
  • This looks like a good answerable question now.
    – James K
    Commented May 16, 2023 at 6:19

1 Answer 1

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"recognise" is a verb, and so the whole bold part is the predicate of the sentence. The subject is the compound noun phrase "Actors ... others".

"Recognise" is a transitive verb, and its object is the noun phrase headed by "power". The rest of the bold part is various prepositional phrases, and you have to sort out which are part of the noun phrase headed by power, and which are part of the clause structure.

"of the human voice" is a prepositional phrase that is part of the noun phrase. This makes the complete object "the power of the human voice". "human voice is the object of "of".

The rest of the sentence "as ...." is a long prepositional phrase with several branches at the end."

The object of the preposition "as" is the noun phrase "a means of communication ... used".

Within this noun phrase, there are several recursively nested phrases. What "means"? A means of communication. What type of communication? Communication beyond the simple decoding of words. Which words? "words that are used (in the communication). This last part is a little relative clause

A key part of the parsing is to identify the phrases and their headwords. For example, prepositions like "of" and "as" head prepositional phrases. They are followed by their objects. So "of the human voice" is a phrase. Nouns head noun phrases "The power of the human voice" is a phrase headed by the noun "power".

A subtle question is whether "as ... used" is a phrase that is part of the noun phrase headed by "power", or part of the clause headed by the verb "recognise". By considering the meaning, you realise it is "recognise (something) as ..." and so it is related to the verb, rather than being part of the direct object.

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