Specific features of English compound

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1. Theoretical Principles of the Study of the Vocabulary 4
2. Word as the basic unit of the language 6
2.1 The Problem of Word Definition 8
3. The Notion of Lexical 12
3.1 Formation of the Verbs of «Bring up", "Make out" Type 15


The theme of this paper is “Specific features of English compound”. The problem of studying the characteristics and peculiarities of word-building is an integral part of personal life in communication, socio-cultural, business and professional spheres.
Composition as a way of word-formation was very productive since Old English period and remains one of the most active types of word-building in Modern English. More than one third of neologisms in English are compound words.

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These words might be regarded as borderline cases, as simplification is not completed graphically.THE PROBLEM OF DISTINGUISHING COMPOUNDS FROM WORD – COMBINATIONS IN ENGLISHAs English compounds consist of free forms, it is difficult to distinguish them from phrases. The combination "top dog" though formally broken up is not analyzable semantically as well as the word "underdog". And yet the 1-st is counted as a phrase (a top dog) and the second as a word. How can we explain this? In reality the problem is still more complicated - separating compounds from phrases and also from derivatives is not an easy task, and scientists do not agree upon the question of criteria. This problem did not receive its final solution yet [ 12, p. 149].2.1 Compounds and their CriteriaAs English compoundsconsist of free forms, it is difficult to distinguish them from phrases.In Old English domineering structural patters of composition were: noun + noun, adjective + noun, noun + adjective. Here are some examples:Ä«s (ice, noun) + ceald (cold, adjective) = Ä«s-ceald (ice-cold, compound).In Middle English period compound nouns were numerous, for example tablecloth, penknife. New compounds consisted of prepositionAll the existing classifications of compound words represent a modified classification of Old Sanskrit Grammar where nominative compound words are subdivided into copulative (woman-doctor), determinative (air-mail) and exocentric (cut-throat) which are not typical of the English language."As English compounds consist of free forms it is difficult to distinguish them from" combinations of words [ 9, p.58]. What is the difference between a slow coach and a slowcoach?In reality the problem is even more complex than this isolated example suggests. Separating compounds from phrases and also from derivatives is no easy task, and scholars are not agreed upon the question of relevant criteria. The following is a brief review of various solutions and various combinations of criteria that have been offered.The problem is naturally reducible to the problem of defining word boundaries in the language. It seems appropriate to quote E. Nida who writes that "the criteria for determining the word-units in a language are of three types: (1) phonological, (2) morphological, (3) syntactic. No one type of criteria is normally sufficient for establishing the word-unit. Rather the combination of two or three types is essential."1.. Phonological criterion. Almost all compounds with a few exceptions always show a high stress on the first element. Compound adjectives are doubled-stressed: 'easy-'going, "snow-'white.2. Morphological criterion. Criterion of Formal Integrity was introduced byA.I. Smirnitsky. Comparing "shipwreck" and "wreck of a ship" with identical sets of morphemes and identical meaning he states that they differ. A word is characterized by structural integrity which is absent in a word-combination. Grammatical formants are added to the whole compound not to every component: shipwrecks, shipwreck's [ 6, p.91].3. Syntactic criterion. We have no right to modify any component of a compound word or to change their order or to insert any word into its structure. L. Bloomfield points out that the word 'black' in the phrase 'black birds' can be modified by 'very', 'very black birds', but never in a compound 'blackbirds'.4. Graphical criterion. Compound words may have solid, hyphened and even separate spelling. The lack of uniformity in spelling makes this criterion insufficient and highly unreliable.We haven’t mentioned the graphic criterion of solid or hyphenated spelling. This underestimation of written language seems to be a mistake. For the present-day literary language, the written form is as important as the oral. If we accept the definition of a written word as the part of the text from blank to blank, we shall have to accept the graphic criterion as a logical consequence. It may be argued, however, that there is no consistency in English spelling in this respect [9, p. 114].The same unit may exist in a solid spelling: headmaster, loudspeaker, with a hyphen: head-master, loud-speaker and with a break between the components: head master, loud speaker. Compare also: airline, air-line, air line', matchbox, matchbox, match box', break-up, breakup. Moreover, compounds that appear to be constructed on the same pattern and have similar semantic relations between the constituents may be spelt differently: textbook, phrase-book and reference book.This lack of uniformity in spelling is the chief reason why many authors consider this criterion insufficient.Many scholars consider this unity of stress to be of primary importance. Thus L. Bloomfield writes: "Wherever we hear lesser or least stress upon a word which would always show a high stress in a phrase, we describe it as a compound member: ice-cream ['ajs-krijm] is a compound but ice cream ['ajs'krijm] is a phrase, although there is no denotative difference in meaning [12, p. 21].It is true that all compound nouns, with very few exceptions, are stressed on this pattern. The only exception as far as compound nouns are concerned is found in nouns whose first elements are all- and self-, e. g. 'All-'Fools-Day, 'self-con'trol. These show double even stress.The rule does not hold with adjectives. Compound adjectives are double stressed like 'gray-'green, 'easy-'going, 'new-'born. Only compound adjectives expressing emphatic comparison are heavily stressed on the first element: 'snow-white, 'dog-cheap.Moreover, stress can be of no help in solving this problem because word-stress may depend upon phrasal stress or upon the syntactic function of the compound [13, p.92]. Besides, the stress may be phonological and help to differentiate the meaning of compounds:'overwork 'extra work''over'work 'hard work injuring one's health''bookcase 'a piece of furniture with shelves for books''book'case 'a paper cover for books''man'kind 'the human race''mankind 'men' (contrasted with women)'toy,factory 'factory that produces toys''toy'factory 'factory that is a toy'.It thus follows that phonological criterion holds for certain types of words only.CLASSIFICATION OF THE COMPOUNDSThe great variety of compound types brings about a great variety of classifications. Compound words may be classified according to the type of composition and the linking element; according to the part of speech to which the compound belongs; and within each part of speech according to the structural pattern (see the next paragraph). It is also possible to subdivide compounds according to other characteristics, i.e. semantically, into motivated and idiomatic compounds (in the motivated ones the meaning of the constituents can be either direct or figurative) [10, p. 137]. Structurally, compounds are distinguished as endocentric and exocentric.The classification according to the type of composition permits us to establish the following groups:a)The predominant type is a mere juxtaposition without connecting elements: heartache (n), heart-beat (n),heart-break (n), heart-breaking (adj), heart-broken a,heart-felt (adj).b)Composition with a vowel or a consonant as a linking element. The examples are very few: electromotive (adj), speedometer (n), Afro-Asian (adj), handicraft (n), statesman(n).c)Compounds with linking elements represented by preposition or conjunction stems: down-and-out (n), matter-of-fact (a), son-in-law (n), pepper-and-salt (a), wall-to-wall (a), up-to-date (a), on the up-and-up (adv) (continually improving), up-and-coming, as in the following example: No doubt he’d had the pick of some up-and-coming jazzmen in Paris (Wain). There are also a few other lexicalised phrases like devil-may-care a, forget-me-not n, pick-me-up n, stick-in-the-mud n, what’s-her name n.The classification of compounds according to the structure of immediate constituents distinguishes:a) Compounds consisting of simple stems: film-star;b)Compounds where at least one of the constituents is a derived stem: chain-smoker;c)Compounds where at least one of the constituents is a clipped stem: maths-mistress (in British English) andmath-mistress (in American English). The subgroup will contain abbreviations likeH-bag (handbag) orXmas (Christmas), whodunit n(for mystery novels) considered substandard;d) Compounds where at least one of the constituents is a compound stem: wastepaper-basket [14, p.42].According to the parts of speech compounds are subdivided into:a) Nouns, such as : baby-moon, globe-trotter;b) Adjectives, such as : free-for-all, power-happy;c) Verbs, such as : to honey-moon, to baby-sit, to henpeck;d) Adverbs, such as: downdeep, headfirst;e) Prepositions, such as: into, within;f) Numerals, such as : fifty-five..

Список литературы

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