Correlation between Compounds and Free Phrases

Compound words, due to the fact that they do not require any explicit way to convey the semantic relationship between their components except their order, are of much wider semantic range, leave more freedom for semantic interpretation and convey meaning in a more compressed and concise way. This makes the meaning of compounds more flexible and situationally derived.

It follows that motivation and regularity of semantic and structural correlation with free word-groups are the basic factors favouring a high degree of productivity of compositionand may be used to set rules guiding spontaneous, analogic formation of new compound words.

It is natural that those types of compound words which do not establish such regular correlations and that are marked by a lack or very low degree of motivation must be regarded as unproductive as, for example, compound nouns of the a+n type, e. g. bluebell, blackbird, mad-doctor.

Sources of Compounds

The actual process of building compound words may take different forms:

1) Compound words as a rule are built spontaneously according to productive distributional formulas of the given period. Formulas productive at one time may lose their productivity at another period. Thus at one time the process of building verbs by compounding adverbial and verbal stems was productive, and numerous compound verbs like, e.g. outgrow,offset, inlay (adv + v), were formed. The structure ceased to be productive and today practically no verbs are built in this way.

2) Compounds may be the result of a gradual process of semantic isolation and structural fusion of free word-groups. Such compounds as forget-me-not - a small plant with blue flowers; bulls-eye - the centre of a target; a kind of hard, globular candy; mainland - a continent all go back to free phrases which became semantically and structurally isolated in the course of time. The words that once made up these phrases have lost, within these particular formations, their integrity, the whole phrase has become isolated in form, specialised in meaning and thus turned into an inseparable unit - a word having acquired semantic and morphological unity. Most of the syntactic compound nouns of the (a+n) structure, e.g. bluebell, blackboard, mad-doctor,are the result of such semantic and structural isolation of free word-groups; to give but one more example, highwaywas once actually a high wayfor it was raised above the surrounding countryside for better drainage and ease of travel. Now we use highwaywithout any idea of the original sense of the first element.


Analyse the structure of the ICs of the following compound words. Translate the compounds into Ukrainian.

Wellhead, pipeline, oceangoing, steam-powered, tankship, deadweight, wartime, pipeline, network, medium-sized, man-of-war, V-day, world-famous, electromagnetic, stone-cold, horsepower, early-day, backbreaking, right-of-way, backfilling, large-scale, seacoast, petroleum-bearing, downhill, limestone, sandstone, taxpayer, sea-front, far-reaching.

Find compounds in the following sentences, define their structural type and state to what part of speech they belong. Translate the sentences into Ukrainian.

1. Only a short time ago, Mel Bakersfeld had been a national spokesman for ground logistics of aviation (A. Hailey). 2. Most people who thought about airports did so in terms of airlines and airplanes (Id.). 3. A great theatre-goer all his life, he was very lukewarm towards modern actors (J. Galsworthy). 4. She could not make up her mind whether she was as carefree as she seemed, or whether hurt, angry, or heartsick (W. S. Maugham). 5. A bluebottle caught between the windowpanes, buzzed for a moment like a circular saw (J. Cary).

Discriminate between compounds proper and derivational compounds given in bold type. Translate the sentences into Ukrainian.

1. For over a year he had been beating his way along the south shore of Lake Superior as a clam-digger and a salmon-fisher or in any other capacity that brought him food and bed (P. S. Fitzgerald). 2. Her blouse, made of some loose-woven fabric..., was long-sleevedand tight-wrested, high-necked, Edwardian in style (J. Fowles). 3. He wasexpensively well-dressed, with precisely combed, gray-streaked hair (A. Hailey). 4. A big awkward tractor-trailer unit lay on its side across the road, blocking all traffic movement (Id.). 5. Normally, from this glass-walled room, the entire airport complex... was visible (Id.). 6. At the offices on lower Broadway, he asked to see the manager, whom he found to be a large, gross-featured, heavy-bodied man of fifty, grey-eyed, grey-haired, puffily outlined as to the countenance, but keenand shrewd, and with short, fat-fingered hands, which drummed idly on is desk as he talked (Th. Dreiser). 7. Her matter-of-factness appeared to infuriate Amy (. Brush).

Translate the following words and phrases into English using the stems in brackets.

(self, t), (many, side), (weak, will), (light, heart), (book, keep), (freight, handle), (merry, make), (coal, out), (land, own), (goal, keep), (even, mind), (loud, speak), (long, sight), (double, breast), (well, mean), (sun, burn), (deep, root), (snow, cover), (choir, lead), (stone, crush).



Some Basic Assumptions

The most characteristic feature of English is usually said to be its mixed character. Many linguists consider foreign influence, especially that of French, to be the most important factor in the history of English. This wide-spread viewpoint is supported only by the evidence of the English word-stock, as its grammar and phonetic system are very stable and not easily influenced by other languages.

To comprehend the nature of the English vocabulary and its historical development it is necessary to examine the etymology of its different layers, the historical causes of their appearance, their volume and role and the comparative importance of native and borrowed elements in replenishing the English vocabulary. Before embarking upon a description of the English word-stock from this point of view we must make special mention of some terms.

1. In linguistic literature the term native is conventionally used to denote words of Anglo-Saxon origin brought to the British Isles from the continent in the 5th century by the Germanic tribes - the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes. Practically, however, the term is often applied to words whose origin cannot be traced to any other language. Thus, the word pathis classified as native just because its origin has not yet been established with any degree of certainty.

In this book we shall proceed from a different understanding of the term native as comprising not only the ancient Anglo-Saxon core but also words coined later on their basis by means of various processes operative in English.

2. The term borrowing is used in linguistics to denote the process of adopting words from other languages and also the result of this process, the language material itself. It has already been stated that not only words, but also word-building affixes were borrowed into English (as is the case with -able, -ment, -ity,etc.). Itmust be mentioned that some word-groups, too, were borrowed in their foreign form (e.g. coup d'état, vis-á-vis).

In its second meaning the term borrowing is sometimes used in a wider sense. It is extended onto the so-called translation-loans (or loan-translations) and semantic borrowing. Translation-loans are words and expressions formed from the material available in the language after the patterns characteristic of the given language, but under the influence of some foreign words and expressions (e. g. mother tongue <L. lingua materna; it goes without saying <Fr.cela va sans dire; wall newspaper< Russ. ). Semantic borrowingis the appearance of a new meaning due to the influence of a related word in another language (e.g. the word propagandaand reactionacquired their political meanings under the influence of French, deviationand bureauentered political vocabulary, as in right and left deviations, Political bureau,under the influence of Russian).

3. There is also certain confusion between the terms source of borrowings and origin of the word. This confusion may be seen in contradictory marking of one and the same word as, say, a French borrowing in one dictionary and Latin borrowing in another. It is suggested here that the term source of borrowing should be applied to the language from which this or that particular word was taken into English. So when describing words as Latin, French or Scandinavian borrowings we point out their source but not their origin. The term origin f the word should be applied to the language the word may be traced to. Thus, the French borrowing tableis Latin by origin (L. tabula),the Latin borrowing schoolcame into Latin from the Greek language (Gr. schole),so itmay be described as Greek by origin.

The immediate source of borrowing is naturally of greater importance for language students because it reveals the extra-linguistic factors responsible for the act of borrowing, and also because the borrowed words bear, as a rule, the imprint of the sound and graphic form, the morphological and semantic structure characteristic of the language they were borrowed from.


Words of native origin consist for the most part of very ancient elements - Indo-European, Germanic and West Germanic cognates. The bulk of the Old English word-stock has been preserved, although some words have passed out of existence. When speaking about the role of the native element in the English language linguists usually confine themselves to the small Anglo-Saxon stock of words, which is estimated to make 2530% of the English vocabulary.

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