Compounds Versus Phrases

  • Angela Ralli
Part of the Studies in Morphology book series (SUMO, volume 2)


Chapter 12 examines certain nominal multi-word units of the domain of scientific terminology, whose behaviour is similar to that of compounds in many respects. It is demonstrated that these formations are distinct from both ordinary one-word compounds and ordinary noun phrases and may be classified into three types, depending on their morphological-like properties and syntactic (semi) accessibility: (a) phrasal compounds, (b) phrasal-compound-like phrases and (c) constructs. It is proposed that phrasal compounds are created by a compounding process which is still marginal in Greek, while the other two categories belong to a special type of noun phrases. However, while one-word compounds are formed in morphology, phrasal compounds are syntactic formations. As a corollary, it is suggested that compounding is a process which cuts across morphology and syntax, depending on the language and the data one deals with.


Head Noun Syntactic Formation Nominal Formation Accusative Case Phonological Word 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Ackema, Peter, and Ad Neeleman. 2004. Beyond morphology: Interface conditions on word formation. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ackema, Peter, and Ad Neeleman. 2010. The role of syntax and morphology in compounding. In Cross-disciplinary issues in compounding, ed. Sergio Scalise and Irene Vogel, 21–36. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  3. Anastasiadi-Symeonidi, Anna. 1986. I neologia stin koini neoelliniki [Neology in Modern Greek Koine]. Thessaloniki: Epistimoniki Epetirida Filosofikis Scholis.Google Scholar
  4. Anastasiadi-Symeonidi, Anna. 1994. Neologikos danismos tis Neoellinikis [Neological borrowing of Modern Greek]. Thessaloniki: Institute of Modern Greek Studies.Google Scholar
  5. Anastasiadi-Symeonidi, Anna. 1996. I neoelliniki sinthesi. In Zitimata Neoellinikis glossas [Themes of the Greek language], ed. Georgia Katsimali and Fotis Kavoukopoulos, 97–120. Rethymno: University of Crete.Google Scholar
  6. Bağrıaçık, Metin, and Angela Ralli. 2012. N + N-sI(n) concatenations in Turkish and the morphology-syntax interface. Paper presented at the WAFL meeting, Stuttgart, May 2012.Google Scholar
  7. Baroni, Marco, Emiliano Guevara, and Roberto Zamparelli. 2008. The dual nature of deverbal nominal constructions: Evidence from acceptability ratings and corpus analysis. Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory 5: 27–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bauer, Laurie. 2001. Morphological productivity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bauer, Laurie. 2008. Dvandva. Word Structure 1: 1–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bisetto, Antonietta, and Sergio Scalise. 2005. The classification of compounds. Lingue e Linguaggio 4: 319–332.Google Scholar
  11. Bloomfield, Leonard. 1933. Language. New York: Holt.Google Scholar
  12. Booij, Geert. 1994. Against split morphology. In Yearbook of morphology 1993, ed. Geert Booij and Jaap van Marle, 27–50. Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  13. Booij, Geert. 1996. Inherent versus contextual inflection and the split morphology hypothesis'. In Yearbook of morphology 1995, ed. Geert Booij and Jaap van Marle, 1–16. Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  14. Booij, Geert. 2005. The grammar of words. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Booij, Geert. 2009. Phrasal names: A constructionist analysis. Word Structure 2(2): 219–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Booij, Geert. 2010. Construction morphology. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Borer, Hagit. 1988. On the morphological parallelism between compounds and constructs. In Yearbook of morphology 1988, ed. Geert Booij and Jaap van Marle, 45–87. Dordrecht: Foris.Google Scholar
  18. Borer, Hagit. 2009. Afro-Asiatic: Hebrew. In The Oxford handbook of compounding, ed. Rochelle Lieber and Pavol Štekauer, 491–511. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Bresnan, Joan, and Sam Mbchombo. 1995. The lexical integrity principle; evidence from Bantu. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 13: 181–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Chomsky, Noam. 1970. Remarks on nominalization. In Readings in English transformational grammar, ed. Roderick Jacobs and Peter Rosenbaum, 184–221. Waltham: Ginn.Google Scholar
  21. Christophidou, Anastasia. 1997. A text linguistic approach to the phenomenon of multi-word compounds. In Proceedings of the 2nd international conference of Greek linguistics, ed. Gaberell Drachman, Angeliki Malikouti-Drachman, Celia Kleidi, and Yannis Fykias, 67–75. Graz: Neugebauer Verlag.Google Scholar
  22. Dahl, östen. 2004. The growth and maintenance of linguistic complexity. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  23. Di Sciullo, Anna Maria, and Edwin Williams. 1987. On the definition of the word. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  24. Di Sciullo, Anna Maria, and Angela Ralli. 1999. Theta-role saturation in Greek deverbal compounds. In Issues of Greek generative syntax, ed. Artemis Alexiadou, Geoffrey Horrocks, and Melita Stavrou, 175–189. Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  25. Fliatouras, Asimakis. 2002. Polylektika toponymia: morfologiki i syntaktiki sximatismi? [Multi-word toponyms: Morphological or syntactic formations?]. Studies of Greek Linguistics 2001: 681–693.Google Scholar
  26. Fliatouras, Asimakis. 2003. Morfologiki analysi ton toponymion ke edafonymion tis Achaias [Morphological analysis of toponyms and edaphonyms of Achaia]. Ph.D. diss., University of Patras.Google Scholar
  27. Fradin, Bernard. 2003. Nouvelles approches en morphologie. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.Google Scholar
  28. Fradin, Bernard. 2009. IE, romance: French. In The Oxford handbook of compounding, ed. Rochelle Lieber and Pavol Štekauer, 417–435. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Gaeta, Livio, and Davide Ricca. 2009. Composita solvantur: Compounds as lexical units or morphological objects? In Compounds between syntax and lexicon. Special Issue of Italian Journal of Linguistics 21(1): 35–70, ed. Livio Gaeta and Maria Grossmann.Google Scholar
  30. Gavriilidou, Zoe. 1997. Etude comparée des suites NN en français et en grec. Elaboration d’un lexique bilingue.. Lille: Presses Universitaires du Septentrion.Google Scholar
  31. Göksel, Aslı. 2009. Compounds in Turkish. Lingue e Linguaggio 8(2): 213–236.Google Scholar
  32. Göksel, Aslı, and Celia Kerslake. 2005. Turkish. A comprehensive grammar. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hüning, Matthias. 2010. Adjective + Noun constructions between syntax and word formation in Dutch and German. In Cognitive approaches to word formation, ed. Sascha Michel and Alexander Onysko, 195–216. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  34. Jackendoff, Ray. 1975. Morphological and semantic regularities in the lexicon. Linguistic Inquiry 7: 89–150.Google Scholar
  35. Jackendoff, Ray. 1997. The architecture of language faculty. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  36. Jackendoff, Ray. 2002. Foundations of language. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kiparsky, Paul. 2010. Dvandvas, blocking and the associative: The bumpy ride from phrases to word. Language 86(2): 302–331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Koliopoulou, Maria. 2009. Loose multi-word compounds and noun constructs. Patras Working Papers in Linguistics 1: 59–71.Google Scholar
  39. Kornfilt, Jacklin. 1997. Turkish. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  40. Lieber, Rochelle, and Sergio Scalise. 2006. The lexical integrity hypothesis in a new theoretical universe. Lingue e Linguaggio 5(1): 7–32.Google Scholar
  41. Nakas, Athanasios, and Zoe Gavriilidou. 2005. Dimosiografia ke neologia: titli- evrimata gia themata-ekplikseis [Journalism and neology: Titles-findings for themes-surprises]. Athens: Patakis.Google Scholar
  42. Nikolou, Kalomoira. 2003. Morfologiki ke filologiki analisi ton monolektikon sitheton tis Ellinikis [Morphological and philological analysis of Greek one-word compounds]. MA dissertation, University of the Aegean, Rhodes, Greece.Google Scholar
  43. Olsen, Susan. 2001. Copulative compounds. A closer look at the interface between morphology and syntax. In Yearbook of morphology 2000, ed. Geert Booij and Jaap van Marle, 279–320. Dordrecht: Kluwer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Plag, Ingo. 1999. Morphological productivity. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  45. Raftopoulou, Maria. 2001. Lekseis me esoteriko morfima klisis stin Iliada ke tin Odysseia [Words with internal inflection in Iliad and Odyssey]. In Proceedings of the 4th international conference of Greek linguistics, ed. Georgia Agouraki, Amalia Arvaniti, Dionysis Goutsos, John Davy, Marilena Karyolaimou, Pavlos Pavlou, and Anna Rousssou, 164–173. Thessaloniki: University Studio Press.Google Scholar
  46. Raftopoulou, Maria. 2005. Sinthesi stin Archaia Elliniki : ta rimatika sintheta stin Iliada ke stin Odysseia [Ancient Greek composition: verbal compounds in Iliad and Odyssey]. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Athens.Google Scholar
  47. Rainer, Franz, and Soledad Varela. 1992. Compounding in Spanish. Rivista di Linguistica 4(1): 117–142.Google Scholar
  48. Ralli, Angela. 1991. Leksiki frasi: antikimeno morfologikou endiaferontos [Lexical phrase: A subject of morphological interest]. Studies of Greek Linguistics 1990: 205–221.Google Scholar
  49. Ralli, Angela. 1992. Compounds in modern Greek. Rivista di Linguistica 4(1): 143–174.Google Scholar
  50. Ralli, Angela. 2005. Morfologia [Morphology]. Athens: Patakis.Google Scholar
  51. Ralli, Angela. 2007. I sinthesi lekseon: diaglossiki morfologiki prosengisi [The composition of words: A cross-linguistic morphological approach]. Athens: Patakis.Google Scholar
  52. Ralli, Angela. 2008. Compound markers and parametric variation. Language Typology and Universals (STUF) 61: 19–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Ralli, Angela. 2011. Compounding and its locus of realization: evidence from Greek and Turkish. Paper read at the 8th mediterranean morphology meeting, Cagliari, September 12–14 2011: To appear in Word Structure.Google Scholar
  54. Ralli, Angela, and Melita Stavrou. 1998. Morphology-syntax interface: A-N compounds versus A-N constructs in Modern Greek. In Yearbook of morphology 1997, ed. Geert Booij and Jaap van Marle, 243–264. Dordrecht: Kluwer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Sadler, Louisa, and Arnold Douglas. 1994. Prenominal adjectives and the phrasal/lexical distinction. Journal of Linguistics 30: 187–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Scalise, Sergio, and Irene Vogel. 2010. Why compounding? In Cross disciplinary issues in compounding, ed. Sergio Scalise and Irene Vogel, 1–18. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  57. Semenza, Carlo, and Sara Mondini. 2006. The neuropsychology of compound words. In The representation and processing of compound words, ed. Gary Libben and Gonia Jarema, 71–95. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  58. Spencer, Andrew. 2001. Does English have productive compounding? In Proceedings of the 3rd Mediterranean Morphology meeting, ed. Janet deCesaris, Geert Booij, Angela Ralli, and Sergio Scalise, 327–341. Barcelona: Pompeu Fabra.Google Scholar
  59. Sprenger, Simone A. 2003. Fixed expressions and the production of idioms. Nijmegen: Max-Planck Institute für Psycholinguistik.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilologyUniversity of PatrasRio-PatrasGreece

Personalised recommendations