Linguistics 105 * Words and Sounds
Lecture Number Eleven
Word Formation: Compound Nouns


    1. Compounds

      Compounds are not consistently marked in English spelling. Some are written together (waterway), some, with a hyphen (water-jacket), and some, as two words (water wheel). Compound words are distinguished from similar analytical NPs (noun phrases) by reduced accent on the second word.

      (1)   a. Frõnch tÕacher "one who teaches French"
        b. wýman dÝctor "a doctor of women"
        c. The Whtehuse "US Presidential residence"

      (2)   a. Frõnch tõacher "a teacher who is French"
        b. wýman dýctor "a doctor who is a woman"
        c. the whte huse "the house that is white"

      1. Synthetic and Analytical Compounds.

        Compounds are either Synthetic or Analytical. The former contain an affix and a regular "functional" meaning, while the latter have neither.

        (3) a. bláe-blÝod-ed       (4) a. bláe-blÝod
          b. hþgh-rÞs-ing         b. hþgh-rÞse
          c. fýod-wrÚpp-er        

        c. fýod-wrÚp

      2. Endocentric and Exocentric Compounds.

        1. Endocentric compounds belong the same referential category as their head, the word on the right; that is, a tablecloth is a kind of cloth, a straw hat is a kind of hat. However, a blue blood is not a kind of blood but someone who has "blue blood" and a redneck is not a kind of neck but someone who has a red neck; thus, an Exocentric compound refers not to the same category as its head, but to an object which possesses whatever is named by the compound.

          (5) a. túbleclÝth       (6) a. bláe blÝod
            b. strúw hÚt         b. rõdnÕck
            c. pþnhÕad         c. hþgh brÝw

        2. Exocentric compounds are Possessional Nominalizations in the same sense that blue-blooded, red-necked, high-browed, short-sighted and long-armed are Possessional Adjectives, i.e. they indicate the possession of the object named in the lexical base(s). English exocentric compounds are Possessional Nominalizations marked by Zero Morphology.

      3. Zero (Omissive) Morphology. Many compounds and derivations in English have no affix yet we know the derivation has occurred because the given form has changed meaning. Cook is a verb with a common meaning, but in He is a good cook, it means that he is someone who cooks well. The semantic rule here is the same which generated bak-er from bake; however, no suffix marks the derivation.

      4. Appositive and Conjunctive Compounds bind together two nouns, neither of which modified the other but both of which refer equally to the referent.

        (7)   a. maidservant       d. Soviet-American (relations)
          b. woman doctor       e. town-gown (relations)
          c. boy scout       f. Apollo-Soyuz (project)
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