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Encyclopedia > Compound (linguistics)

In linguistics, a compound is a lexeme (a word) that consists of more than one other lexeme. Linguistics is the scientific study of language. ... Definition A lexeme is an abstract unit of morphological analysis in linguistics, that roughly corresponds to a set of words that are the same in basic meaning. ... A word is a unit of language that carries meaning and consists of one or more morphemes which are linked more or less tightly together, and has a phonetical value. ...


An endocentric compound consists of a head, i.e. the categorical part that contains the basic meaning of the whole compound, and modifiers, which restrict this meaning. For example, the English compound doghouse, where house is the head and dog is the modifier, is understood as a house intended for a dog. Endocentric compounds tend to be of the same part of speech (word class) as their head, as in the case of doghouse. Endocentric has a number of meanings. ... In linguistics, the head is the morpheme that determines the category of a compound or the word that determines the syntactic type of the phrase of which it is a member. ... In grammar, a part of speech or word class is defined as the role that a word (or sometimes a phrase) plays in a sentence. ...


Exocentric compounds do not have a head, and their meaning often cannot be transparently guessed from its constituent parts. For example, the English compound white-collar is neither a kind of collar nor a white thing. In an exocentric compound, the word class is determined lexically, disregarding the class of the constituents. For example, a must-have is not a verb but a noun. Exocentric has a number of meanings. ...


In the Sanskrit tradition, the type of exocentric compound exemplified by white-collar is called a bahuvrihi compound. The meaning of this type of compound can be glossed as "(one) whose B is A", where B is the second element of the compound and A the first. Thus a white-collar person is one whose collar is white (as a metaphor for socioeconomic status). Other English examples include barefoot and Blackbeard. The Sanskrit language (Skt. ... A bahuvrihi (बहुवृहि), or bahuvrihi compound, is a particular kind of compound word that refers to something that is not specified by any of its parts by themselves (i. ...


Composition should not be confused with derivation, where bound morphemes are added to free ones. In linguistics, derivation is the process of creating new lexemes from other lexemes, for example, by adding a derivational affix. ...


A special kind of composition is incorporation, of which noun incorporation into a verbal root (as in English backstabbing, breastfeed, etc.) is most prevalent (see below). Incorporation is a phenomenon by which a word, usually a verb, forms a kind of compound with, for instance, its direct object or adverbial modifier, while retaining its original syntactic function. ...


While the notion of compound has been very important, clear definitions that work even within one language (much less across languages) have not been articulated. The study of compounds in English, for example, often includes expressions that are written as two words. This lack of precision and agreement has hampered the cross-linguistic study of compounds and even a good study within English.

Contents

Formation of compounds

Compound formation rules vary across language types.


In a perfectly analytic language, compounds are simply elements strung together without any markers. In English, for example, science fiction is a compound noun that consists of two nouns and no markers. A corresponding example from the Chinese language would be Hànyǔ (漢語; simplified: 汉语), or "the Han Chinese language", which also consists of two nouns and no markers. An isolating language is a language in which the vast majority of morphemes are free morphemes and are considered to be full-fledged words. By contrast, in a synthetic language, a word is composed of agglutinated or fused morphemes that denote its syntactic meanings. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Standard Mandarin is the official Chinese spoken language used by the Peoples Republic of China, the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Singapore. ... Languages Religions Predominantly Taoism, Mahayana Buddhism, traditional Chinese religions, and atheism. ...


In a more synthetic language, the relationship between the elements of a compound may be marked. In German, for example, the compound Kapitänspatent consists of the lexemes Kapitän 'sea captain' and Patent 'license' joined by the genitive case marker -s. In the Latin language, the lexeme paterfamilias contains the (archaic) genitive form familias of the lexeme familia 'family'. A synthetic language, in linguistic typology, is a language with a high morpheme-to-word ratio. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Possessive case. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ...


Agglutinative languages tend to create very long words with derivational morphemes. Compounds may or may not require the use of derivational morphemes also. The well-known Japanese compound 神風 kamikaze consists only of the nouns kami 'god, spirit' and kaze 'wind'. The longest compounds in the world may be found in Finnish and Germanic languages, such as Swedish. German examples include Kontaktlinsenverträglichkeitstest 'contact-lens compatibility test' and the jocular Rheindampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitänsstellvertreter 'Rhine steamship-company vice-captain'. In theory, even longer compounds are possible, but they are usually not found in actual discourse. It has been suggested that Agglutination be merged into this article or section. ... It has been suggested that Personnel involved in the development of World War II suicide attacks be merged into this article or section. ... The Germanic languages are a group of related languages constituting a branch of the Indo-European (IE) language family. ...


Compounds can be rather long when translating technical document from English to, for example, Swedish. "Motion estimation search range settings" can be directly translated to rörelseuppskattningssökningsrymdsinställning; the length of the word is theoretically unlimited.


Compound types

Compound nouns

Most natural languages have compound nouns and sometimes compound adjectives. The positioning of the language, i. e. the most common order of constituents in phrases where nouns are modified by adjectives, by possessors, by other nouns, etc. While Germanic languages, for example, are left-branching when it comes to noun phrases (the modifiers come before the head), the Romance languages are usually right-branching.


In French, compound nouns are often formed by left-hand heads with prepositional components inserted before the modifier, as in chemin-de-fer 'railway' lit. 'road of iron' and moulin à vent 'windmill', lit. 'mill (that works)-by-means-of wind'.


Verb-noun compounds

A type of compound that is fairly common in the Indo-European languages is formed of a verb and its object, and in effect transforms a simple verbal clause into a noun. The Indo-European languages comprise a family of several hundred related languages and dialects [1], including most of the major languages of Europe, the Americas as well as many spoken in the Indian subcontinent (South Asia), the Iranian plateau (Southwest Asia), and Central Asia. ...


In Spanish, for example, such compounds consist of a verb conjugated for third person singular, present tense, indicative mood followed by a noun (usually plural): e.g., rascacielos (modelled on "skyscraper", lit. 'scratches skies'), sacacorchos 'corkscrew', lit. 'removes corks'). These compounds are formally invariable in the plural (but in many cases they have been reanalyzed as plural forms, and a singular form has appeared). French and Italian have these same compounds with the noun in the singular form: Italian grattacielo 'skyscraper', French grille-pain 'toaster', lit. 'toasts bread', and torche-cul 'ass-wipe' (Rabelais: See his "propos torcheculatifs").


This construction exists in English, generally with the verb and noun both in uninflected form: examples are spoilsport, killjoy, breakfast, cutthroat, dreadnought, and know-nothing.


Also common in English is another type of verb-noun (or noun-verb) compound, in which an argument of the verb is incorporated into the verb, which is then usually turned into a gerund, such as breastfeeding, finger-pointing, etc. The noun is often an instrumental complement. From these gerunds new verbs can be made: (a mother) breastfeeds (a child) and from them new compounds mother-child breastfeeding, etc. Incorporation is a phenomenon by which a word, usually a verb, forms a kind of compound with, for instance, its direct object or adverbial modifier, while retaining its original syntactic function. ... In linguistics, a gerund is a kind of verbal noun that exists in some languages. ...


Verb-verb compounds

See also: Auxiliary verb and Circumlocution

Verb-verb compounds are sequences of more than one verb acting together to determine clause structure. They are of two types: In linguistics, an auxiliary (also called helping verb, auxiliary verb, or verbal auxiliary) is a verb functioning to give further semantic or syntactic information about the main or full verb following it. ... Periphrasis is a figure of speech where the meaning of a word or phrase is expressed by many or several words. ...

  • In a serial verb, two actions, often sequential, are expressed in a single clause. For example, Ewe trɔ dzo, lit. "turn leave", means "turn and leave", and Hindi जाकर देखो jā-kar dekh-o, lit. "go-CONJUNCTIVE PARTICIPLE see-IMPERATIVE", means "go and see". In each case, the two verbs together determine the semantics and argument structure.
  • In a compound verb (or complex predicate), one of the verbs is the primary, and determines the primary semantics and also the argument structure. The secondary verb, often called a vector verb or explicator, provides fine distinctions, usually in temporality or aspect, and also carries the inflection (tense and/or agreement markers). The main verb usually appears in conjunctive participial (sometimes zero) form. For examples, Hindi निकल गया nikal gayā, lit. "exit went", means 'went out', while निकल पड़ा nikal paRā, lit. "exit fell", means 'departed' or 'was blurted out'. In these examples निकल nikal is the primary verb, and गया gayā and पड़ा paRā are the vector verbs. With a few exceptions all compound verbs alternate with their simple counterparts. That is, removing the vector does not affect grammaticality at all nor the meaning very much: निकला nikalā '(He) went out.' In a few languages both components of the compound verb can be finite forms: Kurukh kecc-ar ker-ar lit. "died-3pl went-3pl" '(They) died.'
  • Compound verbs are very common in some languages, such as the northern Indo-Aryan languages Hindi-Urdu and Panjabi where as many as 20% of verb forms in running text are compound. They exist but are less common in Dravidian languages and in other Indo-Aryan languages like Marathi and Nepali, in Tibeto-Burman languages like Limbu and Newari, in Altaic languages like Korean, Japanese, Kazakh, Uzbek, and Kyrgyz, and in northeast Caucasian languages like Tsez and Avar.
  • Under the influence of a Quichua substrate speakers living in the Ecuadorian altiplano have innovated compound verbs in Spanish:
De rabia puso rompiendo la olla, 'In anger (he/she) smashed the pot.' (Lit. from anger put breaking the pot)
Botaremos matándote 'We will kill you.' (Cf. Quichua huañuchi-shpa shitashun, lit. kill-CP throw.1plFut, तेरे को मार डालेंगे )
  • Compound verb equivalents in English (examples from the internet):
What did you go and do that for?
If you are not giving away free information on your web site then a huge proportion of your business is just upping and leaving.
Big Pig, she took and built herself a house out of brush.
  • Caution: In descriptions of Persian and other Iranian languages the term 'compound verb' refers to noun-plus-verb compounds, not to the verb-verb compounds discussed here.

The serial verb construction is a syntactic phenomenon common in many African and Asian languages. ... Ewe is a Kwa language spoken in Ghana and Togo by approximately three million people (Capo 1991). ... Hindi (हिन्दी) is a language spoken mainly in North and Central India. ... Look up vector in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In linguistics, the grammatical aspect of a verb defines the temporal flow (or lack thereof) in the described event or state. ... In grammar, inflection or inflexion is the modification or marking of a word (or more precisely lexeme) to reflect grammatical (that is, relational) information, such as gender, tense, number or person. ... Hindi (हिन्दी) is a language spoken mainly in North and Central India. ... The Oraon are a tribal (Adivasi) people of Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, India. ... The Indo-Aryan languages form a subgroup of the Indo-Iranian languages, thus belonging to the Indo-European family of languages. ... // The Relationship between Hindi, Urdu, and Hindustani/Hindi-Urdu Hindustani (or the Hindustani language) is a term used by linguists to describe a closely related series of languages or dialects stretching across the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. ... Punjabi (sometimes spelled Panjabi) is the language of the Punjab regions of India and Pakistan. ... Dravidian may refer to: Dravidian languages, including the Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada languages spoken especially in southern India and Sri Lanka. ... Marathi is one of the widely spoken languages of India, and has a long literary history. ... Nepali could mean: Nepali — A citizen of the country of Nepal. ... The Tibeto-Burman linguistic subfamily of the proposed Sino-Tibetan language family is spoken in various central and south Asian countries: Myanmar (Burmese language), Tibet (Tibetan language), northern Thailand (Mong language), Nepal, Bhutan, India (Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and the Ladakh region of... The Limbu (meaning: archer) or Yakthumba are an ethnic group that belong to the Kiranti group or Kirat confederation that includes the Rai and Sunuwar who are believed to be the descendants of the ancient Mongolian people and are still known as Mongolians in Nepal. ... The Newar are the indigenous ethnolinguistic group of Nepals Kathmandu valley. ... Altaic is a putative language family which would include 60 languages spoken by about 250 million people, mostly in and around central Asia. ... Kazakh may refer to An ethnic group: the Kazakhs The Kazakh language The Culture of Kazakhstan Suhbat. ... Kyrgyz (also spelled Kirghiz) are a Turkic ethnic group found primarily in Kyrgyzstan. ... Tsez, also known as Dido (цез (cez) in Avar and Tsez; დიდო (dido) in Georgian) is a Northeast Caucasian language with about 7,000 speakers spoken by the Tsez, a Muslim people in the mountainous Tsunta district of southern and western Dagestan in Russia. ... The word Avars can mean: The nomadic people that conquered the Hungarian Steppe in the early Middle Ages, the Eurasian Avars. ... Kichwa (Kichwa shimi, Runashimi, also Spanish Quichua) is a Quechuan language including all Quechua varieties spoken in Ecuador and Colombia (Inga) by approximately 2,500,000 people. ... The Altiplano (Spanish for high plain), where the Andes are at their widest, is the most extensive area of high plateau on earth outside of Tibet. ... Look up Persian in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The Iranian languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family with an estimated 150-200 million native speakers today. ...

Compound adpositions

Compound prepositions formed by prepositions and nouns are common in English and the Romance languages (consider English on top of, Spanish encima de, etc.). Japanese shows the same pattern, except the word order is the opposite (with postpositions): no naka (lit. "of inside on", i.e. "on the inside of"). It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with adposition. ... A postposition is a type of adposition, a grammatical particle that expresses some sort of relationship between a noun phrase (its object) and another part of the sentence; an adpositional phrase functions as an adjective or adverb. ...


Examples from different languages

Spanish:

  • Ciencia-ficción 'science fiction': ciencia, 'science', + ficción, 'fiction' (This word is a calque from the English expression science fiction. In English, the head of a compound word is the last morpheme: science fiction. Conversely, the Spanish head is located at the front, so ciencia ficción sounds like a kind of fictional science rather than scientific fiction.)
  • Ciempiés 'centipede': cien 'hundred', + pies 'feet'
  • Ferrocarril 'railway': ferro 'iron', + carril 'lane'

Italian: // In linguistics, a calque (pronounced ) or loan translation is a word or phrase borrowed from another language by literal, word-for-word (Latin: verbum pro verbo) or root-for-root translation. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ...

  • Centopiedi 'centipede': cento 'hundred', + piedi 'feet'
  • Ferrovia 'railway': ferro 'iron', + via 'way'
  • Tergicristallo 'windscreen wiper': tergere 'to wash', + cristallo 'crystal, (pane of) glass'

German:

  • Wolkenkratzer 'skyscraper': wolken 'clouds', + kratzer 'scraper'
  • Eisenbahn 'railway': Eisen 'iron', + bahn 'track'
  • Kraftfahrzeug 'automobile': Kraft 'power', + fahren/fahr 'drive', + zeug 'machinery'
  • Stacheldraht 'barbed wire': stachel 'barb/barbed', + draht 'wire'

Finnish:

  • sanakirja 'dictionary': sana 'word', + kirja 'book'
  • tietokone 'computer': tieto 'knowledge, data', + kone 'machine'
  • keskiviikko 'Wednesday': keski 'middle', + viikko 'week'
  • maailma 'world': maa 'land', + ilma 'air'

Icelandic:

  • járnbraut 'railway': járn 'iron', + braut 'path' or 'way'
  • farartæki 'vehicle': farar 'journey', + tæki 'apparatus'
  • alfræðiorðabók 'encyclopædia': al 'everything', + fræði 'study' or 'knowledge', + orða 'words', + bók 'book'
  • símtal 'telephone conversation': sím 'telephone', + tal 'dialogue'

Russian language

In the Russian language compounding is a common type of word formation, and several types of compounds exist, both in terms of compounded parts of speech and of the way of the formation of a compound. [1] Russian ( , tr. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ...


Compound nouns may be agglutinative compounds, hyphenated compounds (stol-kniga 'folded table' lit. 'table-book', i.e., "book-like table"), or abbreviated compounds (acronyms: kolkhoz). Some compounds look like acronyms, while in fact they are an agglutinations of type stem + word: "Akademgorodok" (from "akademichesky gorodok" 'Academic Townlet', i.e., Academic Village). In agglutinative compound nouns, and agglutinating infix is typically used: parokhod 'steamship': par + o + khod. Compound nouns may be created as noun+noun, adjective+noun, noun+adjective (rare), noun+verb (or, rather, noun+verbal noun). It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Backronym and Apronym (Discuss) Acronyms and initialisms are abbreviations, such as NATO, laser, and ABC, written as the initial letter or letters of words, and pronounced on the basis of this abbreviated written form. ... A kolkhoz (Russian: IPA: ), plural kolkhozy, was a form of collective farming in the Soviet Union that existed along with state farms (sovkhoz). ... This article is in need of attention. ... The Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics in Akademgorodok Akademgorodok Airphoto The House of Scientists is the cultural centre of Akademgorodok Residential houses at Morskoy avenue Akademgorodok (Russian: ), is a part of the russian city Novosibirsk, located 20 km south of the city center. ... A verbal noun is a noun formed directly as an inflexion of a verb or a verb stem, sharing at least in part its constructions. ...


Compound adjectives may be formed either per se, e.g., "belo-rozovy" 'white-pink' or as a result of compounding during the derivation of an adjective from a multiword term: Каменноостровский проспект /kamenːoːstrovskʲij prospʲekt/ 'Stone Island Avenue', a street in St.Petersburg. Saint Petersburg (Russian: Санкт-Петербу́рг, English transliteration: Sankt-Peterburg), colloquially known as Питер (transliterated Piter), formerly known as Leningrad (Ленингра́д, 1924–1991) and...


Reduplication in Russian language is a rich source of compounds. The reduplication in the Russian language serves for various kinds of the intensification of the meaning. ...


Quite a few Russian words are borrowed from other languages in an already compounded form, including numerous "classical compounds": "avtomobil" (automobile). A large portion of the technical and scientific lexicon of English and other Western European languages consists of classical compounds. ... For the magazine called automobile, see Automobile Magazine. ...


Recent trends

Although there is no universally agreed-upon guideline regarding the use of compound words in the English language, in recent decades written English has displayed a noticeable trend towards increased use of compounds. The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


Types of compounds

Terpsimbrotos is the term for a type of compound, on a par with the bahuvrihi and tatpurusha types. ... A bahuvrihi (बहुवृहि), or bahuvrihi compound, is a particular kind of compound word that refers to something that is not specified by any of its parts by themselves (i. ... A dvandva or copulative or coordinative compound refers to two or more objects that could be connected in sense by the conjunction and. Dvandvas are common in some languages such as Sanskrit, where the term originates, and Japanese, but less common in English (The term is not often found in... A Tatpurusha is a type of compound in Sanskrit grammar. ... A Karmadharaya is a type of compound in Sanskrit grammar, a subtype of the tatpurusha type (nominative-tatpurushas). The relation of the first member to the last is appositional, attributive or adverbial; this entails that if the members are dissolved, they will stand in the same case (meaning that there... An Amredita is a type of compound in Sanskrit grammar. ... A Dvigu is a type of compound in Sanskrit grammar. ...

Compounding by language

A large portion of the technical and scientific lexicon of English and other Western European languages consists of classical compounds. ... A compound is a word composed of more than one free morphemes. ... The Sanskrit language ( , for short ) is an old Indo-Aryan language from the Indian Subcontinent, the classical literary language of the Hindus of India[1], a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ...

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Reference.com/Encyclopedia/Compound (linguistics) (2084 words)
Endocentric compounds tend to be of the same part of speech (word class) as their head, as in the case of doghouse.
Compound verbs are very common in some languages, such as the northern Indo-Aryan languages Hindi-Urdu and Panjabi where as many as 20% of verb forms in running text are compound.
Compound adjectives may be formed either per se, e.g., "belo-rozovy" 'white-pink' or as a result of compounding during the derivation of an adjective from a multiword term: Каменноостровский проспект 'Stone Island Avenue', a street in St.Petersburg.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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