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The latest major stampede occurred in 2006 killing at least 346 and injuring 289 people.

This sentence is a citation from news.I tried to alter the sentence as below.

The latest major stampede killing at least 346 and injuring 289 people occurred in 2006.

So, what kind of differences can you recognize between these two sentences in terms of both grammar aspect and meaning aspect?

  • I perceive no difference in meaning or syntax. What did you have in mind? We need a little more background. Note that the sentence could be improved by adding commas. – Cerberus_Reinstate_Monica Sep 24 '15 at 13:55
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    Without commas setting off killing at least 346 and injuring 289 people, I read the second version as implying the event in 2006 was the latest of several prior stampedes with exactly that number of casualties. I'd also say it seems at least "odd" to me to put people after the second number rather than the first. – FumbleFingers Sep 24 '15 at 14:16
  • @FF: That reading essentially treats the participle phrase as modifying the NP the latest stampede and since latest modifies stampede, its scope now extends to the end of its NP, including the participle phrase, which produces the invited inference that there was a series of such stampedes, each of which killed and injured at least that many people. Commas are useful things. – John Lawler Sep 24 '15 at 15:21
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The meaning of what kind of stampede occured changes.

Let's take a look at both sentences:

Here is the first sentence:

The latest major stampede occurred in 2006, killing at least 346 and injuring 289 people.

The sentence starts with the main idea "The latest major stampede occurred in 2006", and adds a detail, "killing at least 346 and injuring 289 people".

The second sentence is different:

The latest major stampede killing at least 346 and injuring 289 people occurred in 2006.

This time, the main idea is "The latest major stampede killing at least 346 and injuring 289 people", and the detail is "occurred in 2006", which suggests that the stampede (as pointed out by FumbleFingers in the comments) was the most recent of more stampedes with exactly that many casualties.

However, you can make the meaning of the second sentence the same as the first by adding commas:

The latest major stampede, killing at least 346 and injuring 289 people, occurred in 2006.

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