Lexicology — Билет 11


— (30% of English words)  — is a very productive word building means in modern

English. The aim of this process is to combine two

stems to produce one word.


e.x. bedroom; blackboard


Principles (problems) of composition


  1. How to differentiate compound words from word combinations.

5 criteria of this distinguish

1)    Phonetic – all word-combination bare a primary stress on each of its constitutive parts where is compound word have only one primary stress.


Ex. Laughing boys         laughing gas (compound word)


But in speech stress may disappear.


2)    Morphological – in compound words the ending is placed at the end of this structure.

Ex. Weekend (s)


3)    Syntactical – strict word order;


Ex.  Adj + noun = beautiful house

But  noun + adj. compound word

Grass- green bottle


4)    Syntactic – in some compound words the meaning of a whole can’t be deduced (исчислять) from the total sum of the meanings of its constitutive parts.

Ex. Ladybird – божья коровка

Type – writer – печатная машинка


But – many compound words don’t bare idiomatic character.

Ex. Bedroom, classroom, workday

5)    Graphic

n     In one block

n     Hyphenated

n     Separately

Ex. —made



6% separate writing

82% hyphenated

12% in one block


The difference between compounds words and word combination is still blurred. (Стерта)

Classification of compound words.


  1. The syntactic principle of classification


  1. Compound words consisting of two simple stems


Ex. Blackboard, toothache, ladybird, bedroom


  1. Compound words of one simple and one derived stem


Ex. Blue-eyed; living-room; maid-servant


  1. Compound words of abbreviation


Ex. V-day; H-bomb


  1. Compound words of compound stem


Ex. Postmaster (general)


It is based upon the notion what part of speech form a compound word.



N+n= sea shore



Adj.+n= blu-bell




V+v= hearsay


N+adj.= milk white



  1. Semantic principle of classification


More important. They help to establish the hidden connection between the parts of a compound word.

These connections are called predicates.

The predicate cause: hay-fever


Have: sand beach

Use: foot steps

Be: old tree

In: garden party

For: bird cage

From: country boy

About: tax law

Reseble: gold fish

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