The Syntax of Nominal Appositions in Modern Standard Arabic


  • Muteb A. Alqarni King Khalid University
  • Mohammad S. Alanazi Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University



apposition, Modern Standard Arabic, adjuncts, specifiers, complements


The current paper argues that there are three types of nominal appositions, i.e. two juxtaposed noun phrases (NPs), in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). Each type shows special properties in terms of the nominal category of the two units, the deletion of the NP, word order, case agreement, and semantic relation. For each type, we propose a separate structural analysis. An adjunction analysis is motivated for Type I appositions which consist of a common noun followed by a proper name. For Type II appositions which involve two common nouns, we propose that they take a spec-head structure. A head-complement structure is finally proposed for Type III appositions which involve a pronoun followed by an accusative-marked NP.

Author Biographies

Muteb A. Alqarni, King Khalid University

Department of English Language

Mohammad S. Alanazi, Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University

Department of English Language & Literature


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