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Cranston loved this place, a veritable den of iniquity but one which sold good ales, fine wine and delicious food.

It's from a book. I am wondering about its grammaticality. Is "a veritable den of iniquity" an appositive of "this place"?

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    No, it's not an appositive construction. Appositive NPs are not ascriptive but specifying, i.e. they specify or rename the preceding NP. But the NP here merely expresses the property of being a den of iniquity that is ascribed to "this place". – BillJ Dec 4 '17 at 9:21
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The sentence is grammatical and "a veritable den of iniquity" is an appositive* of "place" in this case.

To understand why the sentence is grammatical, consider the following guide:

Cranston loved this place

This is a fairly straightforward sentence.

Cranston loved this place, a veritable den of iniquity

This simply adds a supplement*, and the supplement* is grammatical, so there's no issue here.

Cranston loved this place, a veritable den of iniquity but one

This doesn't make syntactical sense yet, but it's still grammatical. We've just tacked on a compound supplement* instead rather than the more simple one above.

Cranston loved this place, a veritable den of iniquity but one which sold good ales, fine wine and delicious food.

The rest of this is grammatical and simply modifies "one," which makes the whole sentence grammatical.

*Okay, supplement at the least. Thanks to the comment, I realize this may not be best described as an appositive.

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    Sorry, but I disagree with you on two counts. First, supplementary (non-restrictive) appostives are specifying NPs, not ascriptive ones like the NP in the OP's example. In other words, they specify or rename the preceding noun rather than express some property that is ascribed to it. Second, an appositive NP can be substituted for the whole supplementation yielding an entailment of the original, but "Cranston loved a veritable den of iniquity but one which sold good ales, fine wine and delicious food" is hardly an entailment of the original. The NP is a supplement, but not an appositive one. – BillJ Dec 4 '17 at 9:10

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