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I've come across the term "adjective appositive" and "adverb appositive" a few times, and I'm just wondering if this is widely-used. Is it an incorrect description of a construction that should be called something else? I'm asking this because I always see appositives defined as nouns (or noun phrases/clauses).

Here are a couple examples:

"The fire, yellow and orange, warmed the room." - adjective appositive

This page cached by Google calls this an adverb appositive: "The man shouted loudly, (which was) even frantically, to calm the crowd".

It explains, "Most appositive units can be considered nonrestrictive clauses with the relative pronoun and the verb deleted." I can see how an appositive can be seen as an elliptical nonrestrictive clause, but is there no other term for this usage of adjectives and adverbs? Perhaps you could even explain it as an elliptical participial phrase: "The fire, (being) yellow and orange, warmed the room." That doesn't work for the adverb appositive, though.

So, what are your thoughts? What would you call this and how would you explain it?
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Comments  (Page 4) 
Hi Welkins,



The set of phrases and the set of clauses are disjoint.
I agree that the term "adjective clause" can be vague, but I've seen it used quite a bit. Technically, yes, a dependent clause beginning with which would be a noun clause (functioning as an adjective). These are often called "relative clauses", too.

Even the term "adjective phrase" has two meanings: some refer to it as a group of adjectives (with an adjective as the head of the phrase), while others refer to it as any phrase that functions as an adjective (like prepositional phrases). Adverb/adverbial phrases and verb phrases also have two meanings, one specific and one more general. I found a couple links for each phrase, explaining the two definitions (listed in my blog's post English Grammar: Types of Phrases ).

I have one question regarding the term "adjective clause": is it even possible to have a clause with an adjective as its head? Are clauses said to have heads like phrases?
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In my book, there are no such things as adjectival and adverb clauses.

An adjective modifies, so does a relative clause; but IMO they are all noun appositions, therefore nominal clauses; and the nominal clause is in adjective function.

Not all phrases are clauses, and the reverse is also true.

But the sets have common members.

Relative (noun) clauses are noun phrases too, IMO: they can be referred to by a pronoun.

This is how I, a self -study student, perceive things
People only use terms like "adjective clause" for convenience, instead of saying "a noun clause functioning as an adjective." Since all clauses have a subject and a predicate, you can't classify them like phrases; they don't have heads to determine their function. So, as Wikipedia says here : "Dependent clauses are often classified by which part of speech they function as: a noun clause functions as a noun, an adjective clause functions as an adjective, and an adverb clause functions as an adverb."

Anyway, the original topic is no longer being discussed; we should move this to a new thread if anyone wants to continue debating about grammatical terms.
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