Apposition

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The term apposition is used to denote an adnominal modifier that is itself a noun (or NP) and is coreferential with the head noun.

Examples

English queen Tamara, my daughter Semiramis

  • “The paradigm case of apposition is exemplified in I met your brother, the poet, where a noun phrase the poet is apposed to a preceding noun phrase your brother, which in turn is the object of met. The relationship is realised by the sequence alone, with no construction marker.” (Matthews 1981:224-225)

Comments

The term can refer both to the modifier itself (“in the expression queen Tamara, queen is an apposition”) and to the relation between the head and the modifier (“queen stands in an apposition relation to Tamara”).

Subtypes

Polysemy

Apposition can also refer to

Origin

According to the OED, the term is attested in English since the 17th century.

Reference

  • Matthews, P.H. 1981. Syntax. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Other languages