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Thread: apposition

  1. #1
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Default apposition

    By definition, appositon is "a construction in which a noun or noun phrase is placed with another as an explanatory equivalent, both having the same syntactic relation to the other elements in the sentence"(The American Heritage Dictionary).


    And my question is, is it only the case with a noun or noun phrase? Take this one for example:

    Without some contrast or comparison, without some shifting of the point of view, we should see nothing whatever of our own social surroundings.

    Although it's not a noun nor a noun phrase, I think without some shifting of the point of view is placed with without some contrast or comparison as an explanatory equivalent.

    Isn't it some sort of apposition?

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    Why not- a gerund is a kind of noun.

  3. #3
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Why not- a gerund is a kind of noun.
    Both have "without" in front, so grammatically they are not nouns nor noun phrases.

    Still if there is a noun as an explanatory equivalent even within a phrase, can it be called appositive?

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    I think this kind of thing depends on how strictly you interpret rules. I'd be happy to use the term here. A pedant might disagree.

  5. #5
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I think this kind of thing depends on how strictly you interpret rules. I'd be happy to use the term here. A pedant might disagree.
    As a matter of fact, I'd be happy as well to use the term "appositive" here. But you know, here in Japan the only source of information most of the teachers refer to is the pedantic books, not their heart. Consequently, I have to tell you, there are lots of "pedants" of English in Japan. So no matter how hard I might try to convince them that it is appositive, most of my fellow teachears would disagree, which makes me feel like I'm the only one thinking that way.

    That's why I needed your words--a genuine testimony so to speak.

    Thank you, tdol. :D

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    I see grammar as there to serve us rather than the other way around. A couple of years ago there was a case where a teacher dug up a rule about an exam question that was soobscure that even the pedans and conservatives had never heard of it and argued that the exam was defective. This approach doesn't grab me. the concept of apposition is about balanced phrases more than the eaxct labelling of their contents. I'm not in favour of the anything-goes approach beloved of some descriptivists, but pedantry can be taken to extremes.

  7. #7
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    I can tell.

    And I'm glad you don't seem to be one of those pedants. :wink:

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    MikeNewYork takes a more conservative approach.

  9. #9
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    MikeNewYork takes a more conservative approach.
    At least, he is not headstrong. Plus he seems to be a really nice guy and that counts. :wink:

    (Where is he gone? Maybe on vacation, I think)

  10. #10
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    It's holiday time. Red is sunning himself on a beach in Portugal. They'll be back.

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