Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Referent Accessibility of Appositive Constructions in the Spanish Press

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (2014), 91, (1), 1–18.

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to describe Spanish appositive constructions and to investigate the discourse role they assume in newspaper articles. Two types of appositive constructions are discussed: the specificational and the classificatory appositive constructions. The former present a relationship of secondary nominal predication and show a parallelism with copular structures. The latter are characterized by a relationship of non-restrictive modification. After describing the syntactic, semantic and pragmatic properties of both structures, we offer a detailed discourse analysis of these appositive constructions in the Spanish written press. A corpus of 10,783 nominal expressions with human referents was compiled, of which a third represent appositive constructions. The data-driven account is based on the exhaustive analysis of these referents and aims at applying Ariel's accessibility theory (1990) to our data. Moreover, the purpose is to extend her referent accessibility scale with our appositive constructions. Generally speaking, this discourse study will examine how the nature of referring expressions, more precisely of the specificational and classificatory appositive constructions, reflects their accessibility status.

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Casteele, An