I have a few observations to share about this conversation.
First of all, with all due respect to sayantanc2k
's intelligence & experience on this site, I would caution both of you on the use of the term " verb-ing
." This is a sloppy, imprecise term, and I believe sloppy terminology leads to sloppy thinking. In fact, the -ing form of a verb can have three mutually exclusive roles in a sentence:
1) part of a present progressive verb ,
e.g. He was creating a new model for the sale department even as the folks working under the old model were floundering
2) a gerund Creating a diverse stock portfolio is the best way to avoid tremendous losses in a crisis
3) a present participle The man creating the disturbance was arrested.
The president died unexpectedly, creating a power vacuum.
I think making the distinctions in terminology forces us to notice and understand more deeply these grammatical distinctions. Also, I think the imprecise terminology can be very confusing to non-native speakers who are still trying to make sense of all these complex forms.
I agree with what sayantanc2k
about this question, but I would add: the participial modifier poses some profound challenges. It is the only modifier that can be either a noun or a verb modifier, depending on context & usage. Thus, if the rest of the sentence is not perfectly clear, the participle modifier is ripe for logical ambiguity, only because it has so many potential uses.
Here's (C) as it, without the comma. The use of lie detectors is based on the assumption that lying produces emotional reactions in an individual creating, in turn, unconscious physiological responses.
Here, without a comma between " individual
" and " creating
," the Modifier Touch Rule creates the strong expectation that the participle is acting as a noun modifier, modifying the noun it touches, " individual
." The " in turn
" after this is jarring, and makes this reading of the modification more ambiguous. The first reading is logically incorrect, and the the second interpretation is ambiguous. Either wrong or ambiguous---not a good choice either way. That's why (C) is wrong.
Here's (C1) as it, with the comma added. The use of lie detectors is based on the assumption that lying produces emotional reactions in an individual, creating, in turn, unconscious physiological responses.
Here, it's clear that the participle does not apply to the noun " individual
." That much is clear. Here, we could interpret the participle as a verb-modifier modifying the action of the preceding clause, or we could view it as a noun-modifier modifying the subject of the clause, " lying
." In fact, there's not a sharp distinction in meaning between these two, so this distinction is not helpful. Overall, this could be a plausible correct answer, but the question doesn't give us this.
Remember that if we have [subject][verb][comma][participle]
then it may be that the participle is a verb-modifier modifying the action of the clause, or it may be that the participle as a noun-modifier modifies the subject. In this sentence, there is essentially no difference meaning, but that's not always the case.
Does all this make sense?