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This article/section is a stub — probably a pile of half-sorted notes and is probably a first version, is not well-checked, so may have incorrect bits. (Feel free to ignore, or tell me)

Things that add context/explanation/definition/description/name.

In English (and presumably in general), appositional modifiers are typically placed directly next to the thing (noun/nominal?) they augment.

For example:

  • the parenthetical in "John, a mathematician, has a habit of mumbling" adds contextual information to John
  • abbreviations next to their expansion
  • in men and women, both are put it a more limited and specific context, which suggests that in this context we are grouping or distinguishing gender.
  • In The name John stands for ..., name is an appositional modifier for John

Appositions are used to help clarify and/or disambiguate.

(not to be confused with adpositions)