I posted the following question in Linguistics Stack Exchange, but since I'm asking about English grammar, I'm thinking that this is a better forum for it. The question:
The introductory non-finite clauses below (in bold)
Speeding down the road, Peter ran a red light.
Discouraged by his losing record, the boxer quit boxing
what, if anything, do they modify?
Do they modify the subject of each sentence ("Peter," "the boxer"), the main verb ("ran," "quit"), or the entire main clause ("Peter ran a red light," "the boxer quit boxing)?
How do grammarians/linguists analyze such introductory non-finite clauses? And if they are not "modifiers," what's the syntactic function of such non-finite clauses?
Thanks in advance