[Ads-l] Query on appositive nouns

Joel Berson berson at ATT.NET
Sat Aug 8 00:33:24 UTC 2015

The examples from English given here so far are exact replication.  I like the  (more poetic?) ones from South Slavic of:

two nouns where one is more general and one is more specific:

вземайте пушки-маузери — ‘take your guns-Mauser.guns’
ожени се за една мома унгарка — ‘he married a maiden-Hungarian.woman’

Are there such examples in English?


      From: Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
 Sent: Friday, August 7, 2015 3:43 PM
 Subject: Re: [ADS-L] Query on appositive nouns
> On Aug 7, 2015, at 2:54 PM, Cohen, Gerald Leonard <gcohen at MST.EDU> wrote:
> I received the query below from another listserv and immediately thought of English examples
> of the type: (Young woman A): "Mike Tyson asked me out." (Young woman B, incredulously): "Mike Tyson Mike Tyson?!!"  Or: "It's the same old same old." 

It's not obvious that these examples reflect the same phenomenon.  The latter is a fixed collocation; notice you can't (easily) get "the same thing same thing".
But the former is part of a general construction type that has been treated in of various papers, monographs and collections appearing from the late 1980s on.  

The construction in question is variously termed "the Double", "Contrastive Focus Reduplication", and (by me) "the Lexical Clone", and applies to proper nouns as in "MIKE TYSON Mike Tyson" above, common nouns ("a DOG dog"--perhaps a collie or shepherd as opposed to a chihuahua, or a hot dog, or an ugly or repellent person), adjectives ("TALL tall", "RICH rich"), adverbs ("SOON soon", "LITERALLY literally"), verb phrases ("Do you LIKE her like her?", "Did she SLEEP with him sleep with him?"), prep. phrases ("I'm not WITH him with him") and so on.  A good starting place in the literature is provided in these papers, although the first is not easily accessed:

Dray, Nancy (1987). Doubles and modifiers in English. Unpublished M.A. thesis, University of Chicago.
Ghomeshi, Jila, Ray Jackendoff, Nicole Rosen, and Kevin Russell (2004). Contrastive focus reduplication in English. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 22: 307-57.
Hohenhaus, Peter (2004). Identical constituent compounding--a corpus-based study. Folia Linguistica 38: 297-331.
Horn, Laurence (to appear). The lexical clone: Pragmatics, prototypes, and productivity.  Presented at DGfS workshop on exact reduplication, March 2015, to appear in de Gruyter volume on repetition and reduplication to be published in 2016.  (Detailed handout available on request.)
Stolz, Thomas, et al. (2012). Total Reduplication: The Areal Linguistics of a Potential Universal. Berlin: Academie.


> Can anyone help him out with references to the literature on this topic in English? It may serve as good background information for his thesis.
> Gerald Cohen 
> Missouri University of Science & Technology
> cc. Cammeron Girvin 
> ________________________________________
> From: Cammeron Girvin [cgirvin at berkeley.edu]
> Sent: Friday, August 07, 2015 12:50 PM
> To: SEEFA at LSV.UKY.EDU; slavicling at utlists.utexas.edu
> Subject: appositive nouns in folk texts
> Dear colleagues (with apologies for cross-posting),
> I’m writing a dissertation on the linguistic patterns of South Slavic folk songs, and I’ve encountered a number of instances of a peculiar structure. Essentially, this consists of two appositive nouns, often appearing in transcription with a dash between the two. They are either two words with the same meaning but different roots, as in Bulgarian:
> Ой те тебе, пътниче-друмниче — ‘Oh, you, traveler-traveler’
> Че ний сме немци-германци — ‘For we are the Germans–Germans'
> or two nouns where one is more general and one is more specific:
> вземайте пушки-маузери — ‘take your guns-Mauser.guns’
> ожени се за една мома унгарка — ‘he married a maiden-Hungarian.woman’
> (These are from WWII Partisan songs.)
> I’m wondering to what extent such a phenomenon is encountered in traditions of other languages and genres. More critically, I’m hoping to find out whether there’s some sort of accepted term for such a device that would lead me to other scholars’ analyses of the phenomenon. It’s occurred to me that a few English diminutive formations like “puppy dog” and “bunny rabbit” do this, but I’m unaware of any formal analyses of such structures.
> Any leads that would help me link this to a broader discussion would be most welcome!
> Sincerely,
> Cammeron Girvin
> Ph.D. Candidate
> UC Berkeley, Slavic Languages & Literatures
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