LINGUIST List 26.3270

Mon Jul 13 2015

Books: On appositives: Griffiths

Editor for this issue: Sara Couture <>

Date: 07-Jul-2015
From: Martine Paulissen <>
Subject: On appositives: Griffiths
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Title: On appositives
Series Title: LOT dissertation series
Published: 2015
Publisher: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT)

Book URL:

Author: James Griffiths
Electronic: ISBN: 9789460931710 Pages: Price: ---- 0 Comment: Open access
Paperback: ISBN: 9789460931710 Pages: Price: Europe EURO 34.00

Framed within generative grammar, On appositives aims to provide an empirically and theoretically justified definition of apposition, a term that in traditional grammars is a family resemblance concept. Using data procured from grammaticality judgements on two unrelated languages, English and Turkish, it defines apposition in terms of a syntactic coordination schema in which two or more coordinands are (typically) synonyms. Adopting this definition has two immediate repercussions. Firstly, it entails that appositions should not be associated with parenthesis, contrary to consensus opinion. Secondly, it denies appositional status to a number of parenthetical insertions that are often accorded it, including appositive relative clauses and predicate nominals that ascribe properties to the host clause constituents that they modify (i.e. attributive appositions). The exclusion of these insertions from appositions proper is justified by demonstrating that, rather than being subclausal coordinands, they are clausal adjuncts that bear independent illocutionary force. The syntactic definition of apposition offered in this study also has welcome repercussions for the pragmatic characterisation of appositive constructions, as it provides a natural explanation for why certain appositive structures appear to participate in the creation of a structured discourse, while others do not.

The syntactic categorisation of appositives advocated in On appositives is supported by novel observations about how appositives interact with other well-studied linguistic phenomena. As a result, On appositives sheds new light on the nature of parenthesis and coordination, on the presence or absence of hidden/elided structure within parenthesis, and on the relation between syntactic structure and ‘secondary’ meaning. Consequently, this study is of interest to linguists concerned with the syntax, semantics, and pragmatics of appositives and the linguistic phenomena with which they closely interact.

Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories

Subject Language(s): English (eng)
                            Turkish (tur)

Written In: English (eng)

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---------------------------------- Publishing Partner ----------------------------------
Cambridge University Press

----------------------------- Major Supporting Publishers -----------------------------
Akademie Verlag GmbH
Bloomsbury Linguistics (formerly Continuum Linguistics)
Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Cascadilla Press
Classiques Garnier
De Gruyter Mouton
Edinburgh University Press
Elsevier Ltd
Equinox Publishing Ltd
European Language Resources Association (ELRA)
Georgetown University Press
John Benjamins
Lincom GmbH
MIT Press
Multilingual Matters
Narr Francke Attempto Verlag GmbH + Co. KG
Oxford University Press
Palgrave Macmillan
Peter Lang AG
Routledge (Taylor and Francis)
University of Toronto Press

--------------------------- Other Supporting Publishers ---------------------------
Association of Editors of the Journal of Portuguese Linguistics
International Pragmatics Assoc.
Linguistic Association of Finland
Morgan & Claypool Publishers
Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT)
Seoul National University
SIL International Publications
Universitat Jaume I
University of Nebraska Press
Utrecht institute of Linguistics

Page Updated: 13-Jul-2015