# Compounding

(the following is from Jackendoff’s ‘Compounding in the Parallel Architecture and Conceptual Semantics’)

N-N compound schemata (or constructions)

Argument schema: [N_{1} N_{2}] = [Y_{2} (..., X_{1}, ...)] ‘a N_{2} by/of/... N_{1}’

Modifier schema: [N_{1} N_{2}] = [Y_{2}^{"}; [F (..., X_{1}, ..., ", ...)]] ‘an N_{2} such that F is true of N_{1} and N_{2}’

Below is a list of the (most prominent) basic functions for English compounds, with examples. This list is not far off others that have been proposed in the literature. With one exception, these seem rather plausible as functions that are readily available pragmatically. (Reminder: X is the meaning of N_{1}, Y is the meaning of N_{2}, except in the last two cases.)

CLASSIFY (X_{1}, Y_{2}), ‘N_{1} classifies N_{2}’: *beta cell*, *X-ray*. This is the loosest possible relation, in which the meaning of N_{1} plays only a classificatory role.

Y_{2}(X_{1}), ‘(a/the) N_{2} of/by N_{1}’: *sea level*, *union member*, *wavelength*, *hairstyle*,* helicopter attack, tooth decay*. This is the argument schema. It is sometimes reversible, with the extra coercion shown in (21b): X_{1}(Y_{2}), ‘an N_{2} that N_{1}’s things’: *attack helicopter*, *curling iron*, *guard dog*; also ‘an N_{2} that people N_{1}’: *chewing gum*, *drinking water*.

BOTH (X_{1},Y_{2}), ‘both N_{1} and N_{2}’: *boy king*, *politician-tycoon*. (“Dvandva” compounds)

SAME/SIMILAR (X_{1}, Y_{2}), ‘N_{1} and N_{2} are the same/similar’: *zebrafish*, *piggy bank*, *string bean*, *sunflower*. This is not reversible, because the function is symmetric; asymmetry arises only through profiling.

KIND (X_{1}, Y_{2}), ‘N_{1} is a kind of N_{2}’: *puppy dog*, *ferryboat*, *limestone*. Reversible: *seal pup*, *bear cub* (there are other possible analyses as well, perhaps promiscuously)

SERVES-AS (Y_{2}, X_{1}), ‘N_{2} that serves as N_{1}’: *handlebar*, *extension cord*, *farmland*, *retainer fee*, *buffer state*.

LOC (X_{1}, Y_{2}), ‘N_{2} is located at/in/on N_{1}’: *sunspot*, *window seat*, *tree house*, *background music*, *nose hair*, *donut hole*. Reversible: ‘N_{1} located at/in/on N_{2}’, or, reprofiled, ‘N_{2} with N_{1} at/in/on it’: *raincloud*, *garlic bread*, *inkpad*, *stairwell*, *icewater*, *water bed*.^{[i]}

LOC_{temp} (X_{1}, Y_{2}), ‘N_{2} takes place at time N_{1}’: *spring rain*, *morning swim*, *3 a.m. blues*. A special case of LOC (X_{1}, Y_{2}).

CAUSE (X_{1}, Y_{2}), ‘N_{2} caused by N_{1}’:* sunburn*, *diaper rash*, *knife wound*, *surface drag*.

COMP (Y_{2}, X_{1}), ‘N_{2} is composed of N_{1}’: *felafel ball*, *rubber band*, *rag doll*, *tinfoil*, *brass instrument*. Reversible: ‘N_{1} is composed of N_{2}’, or, reprofiled, ‘N_{2} that N_{1} is composed of’: *wallboard*, *bathwater*, *brick cheese*, *sheet metal*.

PART (X_{1}, Y_{2}), ‘N_{2} is part of N_{1}’: *apple core*, *doorknob*, *fingertip*, *stovetop*, *mold cavity*. Reversible: ‘N_{2} with N_{1} as a part’: *snare drum*, *lungfish*, *string instrument*, *ham sandwich*, *wheelchair*. If N_{1} is a mass noun, this relation paraphrases better as ‘N_{2} is composed in part of N_{1}’: *gingerbread*, *cinnamon bun*, *cheesecake*, *noodle soup*. Reversible: ‘N_{2} that forms part of N_{1}’: *stew beef*, *cake flour*, *lunch meat*.^{[ii]}

MAKE (X, Y, FROM Z), ‘X makes Y from Z.’ This creates two families of compounds, depending on which two arguments are mapped to N_{1} and N_{2}.

a. ‘N_{2} made by N_{1}’: moonbeam, anthill, footprint, horse shit. Reversible: ‘N_{2} that makes N_{1}’: honeybee, lightbulb, musk deer, textile mill

b. ‘N_{2} made from N_{1}’: *apple juice*, *olive oil*, *grain alcohol*, *cane sugar*, * cornstarch*. Reversible: ‘N_{2} that N_{1} is made from’: *sugar beet*, *rubber tree*.^{[iii]}

PROTECT (X, Y, FROM Z), ‘X protects Y from Z.’ This is the one function in the group that does not seem especially “basic.” It too creates two families of compounds.

a. ‘N_{2} protects N_{1}’: chastity belt, lifeboat, safety pin

b. ‘N_{2} protects from N_{1}’: mothball, flea collar, cough drop, mosquito net, sun hat

The basic functions and the action modalities can fill in *F* in (20b) to build compound meanings, as in (22).

(22) window_{1} seat_{2} = SEAT_{2}^{"} ; [LOC (", AT WINDOW_{1})]

felafel_{1} ball_{2} = BALL_{2}^{"}; [COMP (", FELAFEL_{1})]

(Additional schemas are described in the paper for more remote cases.)

Taxonomy of NPN from Jackendoff, ‘Construction after Construction’

[i] These cases verge closely on ‘X with Y as a part’, below. It is not clear to me whether they are distinct.

[ii] The difference between COMP and PART can be illustrated by the ambiguity of clarinet quartet. On the COMP reading it means ‘quartet of four clarinets’; on the PART reading it means ‘quartet of which a clarinet is a distinctive member’, e.g. a clarinet and three strings.

[iii] This relation differs from PART in that Z is no longer identifiable as such in Y. However the distinction is slippery.