Defining a Greek Compound

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


The focus of Chap. 2 is to define Greek compounding on the basis of phonological, structural and semantic criteria. The main characteristics of Greek compounds are discussed, and a demarcation line is traced between them and phrases. It is shown that Greek compounds bear only one stress, and their structure involves morphologically proper entities, such as stems and a linking vowel -o- between the two constituents. Greek compounds are submitted to the lexical integrity hypothesis, in that no syntactic operation can affect their internal structure, and many of them are semantically non-compositional. It is assumed that they are formed within an autonomous grammatical component, that is morphology, and properties which play an important role in Greek word formation, such as stem-based structures, are examined in order to elucidate crucial aspects of Greek compounding.


Semantic Compositionality Phonological Word Syntactic Operation Inflectional Ending Independent 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. Allen, Margaret. 1978. Morphological investigations. PhD diss., University of Connecticut.Google Scholar
  2. Amiot, Dany. 2005. Between compounding and derivation: Elements of word formation corresponding to prepositions. In Morphology and its demarcations, ed. Wolfgang U. Dressler, Dieter Kastofsky, Oskar E. Pfeiffer, and Franz Rainer, 183–196. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  3. Anderson, Steven. 1992. A-morphous morphology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Aronoff, Mark. 1976. Word formation in generative grammar. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bağrıaçik, Metin, and Angela. To appear. Bare NN constructions: compounds or syntactic fallacies? In Proceedings of the 8th Décembrettes Morphology Meeting, ed. Nabil Hathout and Fabio Montermini. München: LINCOM.Google Scholar
  6. Bauer, Laurie. 2001. Compounding. In Language typology and language universals, ed. Martin Haspelmath, Ekkehard König, Wulf Oesterreicher, and Wolfgang Raible, 695–707. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  7. Bisetto, Antonietta, and Sergio Scalise. 1999. Compounding: Morphology and/or syntax? In Boundaries of morphology and syntax, ed. Lunella Mereu, 31–48. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  8. Bloomfield, Leonard. 1933. Language. New York: Holt.Google Scholar
  9. Booij, Geert. 2005. The Grammar of words. An introduction to linguistic morphology. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Booij, Geert. 2010. Construction morphology. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Bresnan, Joan, and Sam Mchombo. 1995. The lexical integrity principle; evidence from Bantu. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 13: 181–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chantraine, Paul. 1933. La formation des noms en grec ancient. Paris: Klincksieck.Google Scholar
  13. Chomsky, Noam. 1970. Remarks on nominalization. In Readings in English transformational grammar, ed. Roderick Jacobs and Peter Rosenbaum, 184–221. Waltham: Ginn.Google Scholar
  14. Di Sciullo, Anna Maria, and Edwin Williams. 1987. On the Definition of the word. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  15. Drachman, Gaberell, and Angeliki Malikouti-Drachman. 1994. Stress and Greek compounding. Phonologica 1992: 55–64.Google Scholar
  16. Fabb, Nigel. 1998. Compounding. In Handbook of morphology, ed. Andrew Spencer and Arnold Zwicky, 66–83. Oxford/London: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  17. Gaeta, Livio, and Davide Ricca. 2009. Composita solvantur: Compounds as lexical units or morphological objects? Italian Journal of Linguistics 21(1): 35–70.Google Scholar
  18. Giegerich, Heinz. 2004. Compound or phrase? English noun-plus-noun constructions and the stress criterion. English Language and Linguistics 8: 1–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Giegerich, Heinz. 2009. Compounding and lexicalism. In The Oxford handbook of compounding, ed. Rochelle Lieber and Pavol Štekauer, 178–200. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Göksel, Asli, and Celia Kerslake. 2005. Turkish: A comprehensive grammar. London/New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Guevara, Emiliano, and Sergio Scalise. 2009. Searching for universals in compounding. In Universals of language today, ed. Sergio Scalise, Elisabetta Magni, and Antonietta Bisetto, 101–128. Amsterdam: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Haspelmath, Martin. 2002. Understanding morphology. London: Arnold.Google Scholar
  23. Hatzidakis, Georgios. 1905–1907. Meseonika ke Nea Ellinika [Medieval and Modern Greek]. Athens: Sakellarios.Google Scholar
  24. Jespersen, Otto. 1942. A modern English grammar on historical principles, vol. 6. London: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  25. Kaisse, Ellen. 1982. On the preservation of stress in Modern Greek. Linguistics 20: 59–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Katamba, Francis. 1993. Morphology. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  27. Kerleroux, Françoise. 2003. Morphologie: La forme et l’inteligible. Langages 152: 12–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kiparsky, Paul. 2009. Verbal co-compounds and subcompounds in Greek. MIT Working Papers 57. Google Scholar
  29. Lieber, Rochelle. 2004. Morphology and lexical semantics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lieber, Rochelle, and Sergio Scalise. 2006. The lexical integrity hypothesis in a new theoretical universe. Lingue e Linguaggio 5(1): 7–32.Google Scholar
  31. Lieber, Rochelle, and Pavol Štekauer. 2009. The Oxford handbook of compounding. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Malikouti-Drahman, Angeliki. 1997. Prosodic domains in Greek compounding. In Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference of Greek Linguistics, ed. Gaberell Drachman, Angeliki Malikouti-Drachman, Celia Klidi, and Yannis Fykias, 87–96. Graz: Neubauer Verlag.Google Scholar
  33. Marchand, Hans. 1960. The categories and types of present-day English word formation. A synchronic–diachronic approach. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrasowitz.Google Scholar
  34. Mirambel, André. 1957. Grammaire du grec moderne. Paris: Klincksieck.Google Scholar
  35. Montermini, Fabio. 2010. Units in compounding. In Cross-disciplinary issues in compounding, ed. Sergio Scalise and Irene Vogel, 77–92. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  36. Nespor, Marina, and Angela Ralli. 1994. Stress domains in Greek compounds: A case of morphology-phonology interaction. In Themes of Greek linguistics I, ed. Irene Philippaki-Warburton, Katerina Nikolaides, and Mary Sifianou, 201–208. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  37. Nespor, Marina, and Angela Ralli. 1996. Morphology-phonology interface: Phonological domains in Greek compounds. The Linguistic Review 13: 357–382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Nikolou, Kalomoira. 2003. Morphologiki ke phonologiki analysi ton monolektikon sintheton tis Ellinikis [Morphological and phonological analysis of Greek one-word compounds]. MA dissertation, University of the Aegean, Rhodes, Greece.Google Scholar
  39. Olsen, Susan. 2000. Composition. In Morphologie/morphology, ed. Geert Booij, Christian Lehmann, and Joachim Mugdan, 897–916. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  40. Packard, Jerome. 2000. The morphology of Chinese. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Plag, Ingo. 2006. The variability of compound stress in English: Structural, semantic and analogical factors. English Language and Linguistics 10(1): 143–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Ralli, Angela. 2005. Morfologia [Morphology]. Athens: Patakis.Google Scholar
  43. Ralli, Angela. 2006. Variation in word formation: The case of compound markers. 2006. In Fonologia e tipologia lessicale nella storia della lingua greca, ed. Pierluigi Cuzzolin and Maria Napoli, 238–264. Milano: Francoangeli.Google Scholar
  44. Ralli, Angela. 2007a. Compound marking in a cross-linguistic approach. In Morphologie à Toulouse, ed. Nabil Hathout and Fabio Montermini, 207–220. München: LINCOM.Google Scholar
  45. Ralli, Angela. 2007b. I sinthesi lekseon: Morfologiki diaglosiki prosengisi [The composition of words: A morphological cross-linguistic approach]. Athens: Patakis.Google Scholar
  46. Ralli, Angela. 2008. Compound markers and parametric variation. Language Typology and Universals (STUF) 61: 19–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Scalise, Sergio. 1984. Generative morphology. Dordrecht: Foris.Google Scholar
  48. Scalise, Sergio, and Irene Vogel. 2010. Cross-disciplinary issues in compounding. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  49. Sprenger, Simone A. 2003. Fixed expressions and the production of idioms. Nijmegen: Max-Planck Institute für Psycholinguistik.Google Scholar
  50. Ten Hacken, Pius. 2000. Derivation and compounding. In Morphologie/morphology, ed. Geert Booij, Christian Lehmann, and Joachim Mugdan, 349–359. Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  51. Tollemache, Federico. 1945. Le parole composte nella lingua italiana. Roma: Rores.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilologyUniversity of PatrasRio-PatrasGreece

Personalised recommendations