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Syntax Interface Lectures Utrecht


23 April 2018

Mark de Vries (University of Groningen)

Appositions, interrupted

(over binnenbouw, buitenbouw en tussenbouw)


Semantically, there are two main types of appositions: predicative/attributive ones, as the underlined phrase in (1a), and identificational/specificational ones (1b); sometimes they are ambiguous.


(1a)     Alice consulted John Doe, an unknown linguist.

(1b)     Alice consulted a famous linguist, Noam Chomsky.


This raises the question if these types also have different internal syntactic structures. In line with the outcomes of earlier research, I argue that the predicative type is sentential (even if the visible apposition is simply a noun phrase); however, the second type is less ‘big’, perhaps just phrasal.

The second question is how – if at all – the apposition relates to the context, in particular the nominal anchor. I will assess the integration vs. orphanage debate, and show that syntactic integration is both inevitable and problematic.