Neoclassical compounds and final combining forms in English

Ana Díaz-Negrillo

Abstract


English neoclassical compounds rely on a distinct vocabulary stock and present morphological features which raise a number of theoretical questions. Generalisations about neoclassical compounds are also problematic because the output is by no means homogeneous, that is, defining features of neoclassical compounds sometimes co-exist with features that are not prototypical of these formations. The paper looks at neoclassical compounds with a view to exploring patterns of morphological behaviour and development in this class of compounds. The approach is both synchronic and diachronic: it researches whether the morphological behaviour of recently formed compounds is different from that of earlier compounds and, if so, in which respects. This is assessed on data from the BNC with respect to some of the features that are cited in the literature as defining properties of neoclassical compounds, specifically, their internal configuration, the occurrence or not of a linking vowel, and their productivity.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13092/lo.68.1631