A Note on the Projection of Appositives

  • Rick NouwenEmail author
Part of the Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy book series (SLAP)


This article offers a thorough examination of the scopal properties of (mainly nominal) appositives. It is often descriptively noted that apposition is scopeless in the sense that its content escapes the scope of any operators that occur in the sentence the appositive is anchored in. I focus on exceptions to that characterisation and compare to what extent existing formal semantic analyses of apposition offer a handle on such exceptions. I then propose an analysis that predicts–rightly it turns out–that the exceptional cases, where appositives occur in the scope of a matrix operator, are part of a general pattern. Unfortunately, this analysis also over-generates severely. This issue, however, offers a new insight in the interaction between the scope of the appositive and the scope of its anchor. A final set of observations ultimately suggests that for a full understanding of appositive semantics it may be necessary to acknowledge the heterogeneity of the class of appositive constructions.


Appositives Scope Multidimensional semantics Indefinites Discourse anaphora 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Language, Literature and CommunicationUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

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