Intersective modification: the denotation of an Adj N combination is the intersection of the denotations of the Adj and the N. That is, Adj N has the same denotation as N plus a restrictive relative clause containing Adj: N that/who is/are Adj.Note to self: Investigate whether attribute and predicate position in Greek is intersective and appositive (respectively).
Appositive modification: the denotation of an Adj N combination is the same as that of N plus a non-restrictive (a.k.a. appositive) relative clause containing Adj: N, which/who is/are Adj.
Plenty of Adj N combinations are, out of context, ambiguous between intersective and appositive modification; but context, background information, and reasoning about other people's intentions are usually enough for us to decide which reading is the appropriate one.
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Arnold Zwicky, Droning On (Language Log; Feb. 8, 2007) explains the different between intersective and appositive (e.g. restrictive and non-restrictive adjectives):