DescriptionPublished as Coyote Papers: Working Papers in Linguistics from A-Z, Exploring Language: Linguistic Heresies from the Desert
AbstractThe goal of this paper is to apply the insights of X -bar syntax, as developed by Jackendoff (1977), to apposition, a topic that has received only moderate attention within the framework of generative grammar, and one which Jackendoff essentially ignores. In Section 1, I try to capture the intuitive notion that we have of apposition by defining it as the repetition of full NP's, none of which has either structural or semantic priority, dominated by the same node in the tree. I propose a rule that generates such structures by doubling N'''. In Section 2, I discuss the difference between restrictive and nonrestrictive apposition, and I propose that restrictive apposition consists in the repetition of something smaller than the maximal projection of N. I therefore modify the rule given in Section 1 by replacing the triple -prime superscript on N with the variable n, which allows the rule to generate both kinds of apposition. In Section 3, I briefly compare the analysis of apposition presented in Sections land 2 with the approaches to apposition taken by Delorme and Dougherty (1972), Halitsky (1974), Pesetsky (1978), and Janda (1980). All of these investigators state or imply that apposition is a kind of head-modifier construction, a claim with which I disagree. One of Jackendoff's goals was to search for cross-category generalizations in syntax; in Section 4, therefore, I explore the possibility of generalizing my definition of apposition to categories outside of NP. The paper closes with a brief presentation of some unresolved problems for future research.