A note on the projection of appositives

Rick Nouwen, Utrecht University

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


Keywords: appositives, scope, multidimensional semantics, indefinites,

discourse anaphora