MINISTRY OF HIGHER AND SECONDARY SPECIAL EDUCATION
OF THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN
GULISTAN STATE UNIVERSITY
The English and Literature Department
Qualification work on speciality English philology
on the theme:
“Comparative Analysis of the Compound Words”
1.1 Theme actuality
After the Independence was proclaimed the Republic was faced with the
necessity of creating new legislation corresponding with new realities,
with the conditions of Independence and the Parliament coped with this
task, there have been adopted new Laws and new Resolutions
For the first time in the history of our country, there adopted “The Law
of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Education” and “The Law of the Republic
of Uzbekistan on the National Programme of Personnel Training System”.
The main objective of all reforms in the field of economic policy is the
individual. Therefore the task of education, the task of rising up a new
generation capable of national renaissance will remain the prerogative
of the state and constitute a priority. At present great importance is
attached to the study and teaching of foreign language. In our recent
past, in most cases the Russian language but not the mother tongue
served as mediator in the study of foreign languages. That is why in
particular until the present, English-Uzbek and Uzbek-English
Dictionaries had not been available.
That’s why it is necessary to learn and compare English, German and
Uzbek lexicology, grammar and phonetics.
2. The main goal of the work is to study, compare and analyze the
compound words of Uzbek, English and German, to classify the compounds
according to morphological and lexical point of view.
3. The scientific decision of set aims and purposes will maintain the
easiest way for better learning and understanding Uzbek, English and
4. The scientific novelty of the work. As we know, there aren’t enough
manuals which compared the Uzbek and the English languages. The novelty
of the work is that in the work one can find new approaches of comparing
and classifying the compounds.
5. The practical value
Work can be useful for all who interested in English. At the university
information which taken from the work can be used as a ready – materials
at the lectures of Lexicology, Stylistics, Comparative Typology.
6. Literature overview
Basic information of the qualification work is given from the manuals,
articles, researches of great scholars such as: by I.V. Arnold A Course
in modern English Lexicology by R.S. Ginzburg, The English Word and
others. The information which is taken from Internet sites, World Book
Encyclopedia and many other dictionaries also served as a source of
7. The structure of the work
Work consists of Introduction, Main part, Conclusion and the list of
Compound words are words consisting of at least two stems which occur in
the language as free forms. In a compound word the immediate
constituents obtain integrity and structural cohesion that make them
function in a sentence as a separate lexical unit.
The structural cohesion and integrity of a compound may depend upon
unity of stress, solid or hyphenated spelling, semantic unity, unity of
morphological and syntactic functioning or, more often, upon the
combined effect of several of these or similar phonetic, graphic,
semantic, morphological or syntactic factors.
The integrity of a compound is manifested in its indivisibility, i.e.
the impossibility of inserting another word or word group between its
elements. If, for example, speaking about a “sunbeam” (English) кўкйўтал
we can insert some other word between the article and the article and
the noun, e.g. a bright sunbeam, a bright and unexpected sunbeam,
because the article a is a separate word, no such insertion is possible
between the stems sun & beam ?ора & кўл, for they are not words but
In describing the structure of a compound one should examine three types
of relations, namely the relation of the members to each other the
relation of the whole to its members, and correlation with equivalent
Some compounds are made up of a determining and a determined part, which
may be called the determinant and me determinate group. Thus, a
blackboard, томор?а is very different from a blackboard, том ор?а
(сида). Its essential feature is being a teaching aid ? ховли атрофида
экин экиладиган Майдон ?: not every board of a black color is a
A blackboard may be not a board at all but a piece of linoleum or some
other suitable material. Its color is not necessarily black: it may be
brown or something else. Thus, blackboard ? a board which is black. A
chatterbox – оташ?алб is not a box, it is a person who talks a great
deal without saying anything important: the combination is used only
figuratively. The same metaphorical character is observed in the
compound slowcoach хомсемиз. It is also idiomatic as it does not name a
vehicle but a person who acts and thinks slowly. A fuss – pot is a
person easily excited and nervous about trifles. Thus for the original
motivation of the idiomatic compound could be easily recreated. The
following examples illustrate idiomatic compounds where it is not so
obvious: “blackleg”, “strike breaker”, “blackmail” getting money or some
other profit from a person by threats bluestocking “a woman affecting
literary tastes and learning”
The analysis of the semantic relationship existing between the
constituents of a compound presents many difficulties. Some authors have
attempted a purely logical interpretation distinguishing copulative,
existential, spatial and other connections. This scheme, however, failed
to show the linguistic essence of compounds and was cumbersome and
A mistake common with many authors is treating semantic connections
within compounds in terms of syntactic relations. Marchand, For
instance, when analyzing the type house – keeping, backbiting,
housewarming, book – keeping, sightseeing, etc. Writes: “In most cases
the first word is the object. A subject/predicate relation underlies
earth quaking, cock – crowing, cock – fighting, sun burning …. The first
word is the predicate compliment in well – being and short – coming.”
N. G. Guterman very convincingly showed that such syntactic treatment
should be avoided because syntactic ties are ties between words, whereas
in dealing with compounds one studies relations within a word, the
relations between the morphemes, its significant constituents. These two
series of relations belong to different levels of abstraction and should
not be mixed. In the compound spacecraft space – is not an attribute to
– craft. It cannot possess syntactic functions, being not a word but a
stem, So it is more convenient to consider it a determinant restricting
the meaning of the determinate by expressing the purpose for which –
craft – is designed or the medium in which it will travel. Surely, one
could combine these two points of view using a more careful. Wording,
and formulate it as follows: phrases correlated with compounds by means
of transformational analysis may show objective, subject/predicate,
attributive and adverbial relations. E.g. house – keeping: to keep
house, well – being: to be well. In the majority of cases compounds
manifest some restrictive relationship between the constituents; types
of restrictions show great variety.
Some examples of determinative compound nouns with restrictive
qualitative relations are given below.
The list is not meant to be exhaustive and serves only to illustrate the
Purpose of functional relations underlies such compounds as bathrobe,
raincoat, ём?ирпўш, classroom – синфхона, notice – board, and suitcase.
Different place or local relations are expressed in dockland, garden –
party, sea – front. Comparison is the basis of blockhead, butter –
fingers, floodlight, and goldfish. The material or elements the thing is
made of is pointed out silver wear, tin – hat, clay – pipe. Temporal
relations underlie such compounds as night – club, night – duty, summer
– house and day – train. Sex – denoting compounds are rather numerous:
she – dog, he – goat.
II. Main part
2.1.1 Specific features of English, Uzbek and German Compounds
A compound is a word composed of more than one free morpheme. English
compounds may be classified in several ways, such as the word classes or
the semantic relationship of their components.
Examples by word class
Modifier HeadCompoundnounnoun wall paperadjectivenounblack board
verbnounbreak waterprepositionnoununder worldnounadjectivesnow
whiteadjectiveadjectiveblue – green
verbadjectivetumbledownprepositionadjectiveover – ripe
1) Since Uzbek is a mostly analytic language, unlike most other Germanic
languages, it creates compounds by concatenating words without case
markers. As in other Germanic languages, the compounds may be
arbitrarily long. However, this is obscured by the fact that the written
representation of long compounds always contains blanks.
For example in German there are a lot of long compounds with more than
three words: die Bewusstseinserziehung
– воспитание сознательность
achtzehnhundertzwoelf – 1812
On the contrary Uzbek compounds are short compounds.
Ex: кўзойнак, атиргул, бўтакўз, то??айчи.
The way of forming Uzbek and English short compounds are the same, while
German is not included to this group. There are three ways of forming
1. The solid or closed form in which two usually moderately short words
appear together as one. Solid compounds most likely consists of short
(monosyllabic) units that often have been established in the language
for a long time. Examples are; housewife, lawsuit, and wallpaper.
Uzbek examples are: сувилон, то?олча, гултувак.
This rule is also relevant to German compounds.
These are examples: Kraftwerk, die Kinderbibliothek.
2. The hyphenated form in which two or more words are connected by a
hyphen. Compounds that contain affixes, such as house – builder and
single – mind (ed) (ness) but if these words are written in Uzbek they
will be written without hyphen: single – mindedness – ?урфикрлилик.
As well as adjective – adjective compounds and verb – verb compounds,
such as blue – green and freeze – dry, are often hyphenated. Some Uzbek
verb – verb compounds are also hyphenated: сотиб – олди, бориб – келди.
But in German there is no hyphenated compound.
In addition to it there are some verb – verb compounds in German:
Compounds that contain particles, such as mother – of – pearl and salt –
and – pepper, mother – in – law, merry – go – round, are also
hyphenated. But in German such kinds of particles are written together:
Vergissmichnicht – forget – me – not – не забудка.
3. The open or spaced form consisting of newer combinations of usually
longer, such as: distance learning, player piano, lawn tennis.
In Uzbek there are also such kind of open compounds: стол тенниси,
But German is far from this rule: All German compounds words are written
A compound word possesses a single semantic structure. The meaning of
the compound is first of all derived from the combined lexical meanings
of its components, which as a rule; retain their lexical meanings,
although their semantic range becomes considerably narrowed. The lexical
meanings of the components are closely fused together to create a new
semantic unit with a new meaning that is not merely additive but
dominates the individual meanings of the components. The semantic centre
of the compound is found in the lexical meaning of the second component
which is modified and restricted by the lexical meaning of the first,
e.g. hand-bag is essentially ‘a bag carried in the hand for money,
papers, face-powder, etc.’; pencil-case is ‘a case for pencils’, etc.
The components are often stems of polysemantic words but there is no
difficulty, as a rule, of defining which of the’ multiple denotational
meanings the stem retains in one or another compound word. Compound
words with a common second component can serve as an illustration. Let
us take words with a common second component, e.g. board-. Board- is the
stem of a polysemantic word but it retains only one of its multiple
denotational meanings in each compound word: in chess-board it retains
the denotational meaning of ’a wooden slab’, in pasteboard, cardboard it
can be traced to the meaning of ‘thick, stiff paper’, in overboard to ‘a
ship’s side’, in notice-board, foot-board, key-board to ‘a flat piece of
wood square or oblong’; in school-board to ‘an authorized body of men1,
in side-board, above-board to the meaning of ‘table’. The same can be
observed in words with a common first component, e.g. foot-, in
foot-high, foot-wide the stem foot- retains the lexical meaning of
‘measure’; in foot-print, foot-pump, foot-hold—’the terminal part of the
leg’; in foot-path, foot-race the meaning of ‘the way of motion’; in
foot-note, foot-lights, foot-stone—the meaning of ‘the lower part,
base’. It is obvious from these examples that the meanings of the sterns
of compound words are interdependent and in each case the stems retain
only one lexical meaning and that the choice of the particular lexical
meaning of each component is delimited, as in free word-groups, by the
nature of the other member of the word.1 Thus we may say that the
combination of stems serves as a kind of minimal context distinguishing
the particular individual lexical meaning of each component.
Both components, besides their denotational and co notational meanings
possess distributional and differential types of meaning typical of
morphemes2 the differential meaning, found in both components especially
comes to the fore in a group of compound words containing identical
stems. In compound nouns eye-tooth—’a canine tooth of the upper jaw’,
eye-lash—’the fringe of hair that edges the eyelid’, eye-witness—’one
who can bear witness from his own observation’, eye-glasses—’a pair of
lens used to assist defective sight’, eye-sore—’an ugly or unpleasant
thing to see’, eye-strain—’weariness of the eye’, etc, it is the
differential meaning of the second components—tooth-, glasses-,
witness-, etc. that brings forth -the different lexical meanings of the
stem . eye- and serves as a distinguishing clue between these words. We
observe a similar significance of the differential meaning for the
choice of the lexical meaning of the other component in words with the
identical second component. In compound words, e.g. wedding-ring,
nose-ring, ear-ring, finger-ring, key-ring, circus-ring, prize-ring,
etc., it is not only the denotational but mostly the differential
meaning of nose-, ear-, finger-, etc. that distinguishes wedding-ring—’a
ring worn constantly as a distinctive mark of a married woman’ from
ear-ring—’an ornament worn in the lobe of ear’, key-ring — ‘a ring for
keeping keys on’, circus-ring—’an arena in a circus’ and prize-ring—’an
enclosed area for fighting’.
Structural Meaning of the Pattern.
The lexical meanings of the components alone, important as they are, do
not make the meaning of the compound word. The meaning of the compound
is derived not only from the combined lexical meanings of its
components, but also from the meaning signaled by the pattern of the
order and arrangement of the stems.
A mere change in the order of stems with the same lexical meanings
brings about a radical change in the lexical meaning of the compound
word. For illustration let us compare lifeboat— ‘a boat of special
construction for saving lives front wrecks or along the coast’ with
boat-fife—’life on board the ship’, a fruit-market — ‘market where fruit
is sold’ with market-fruit—’fruit designed for selling’, etc. Thus the
structural pattern or the distributional formula in compound words
carries a certain meaning which is independent of the actual lexical
meanings of their components. In other words the lexical meaning of a
compound is derived from the combined lexical meanings of its components
and the structural meaning of the distributional formula.
The structural meaning of the distributional formulas of compounds may
be abstracted and described through the interrelation of their
components. In analyzing compound adjectives, e.g. duty-bound,
wind-driven, tear-stained, we observe that the distributional formula
they are built after, i.e. n+ved, conveys the generalized meaning of
instrumental or agentive relations between the components which can be
interpreted as ‘done by’ or ‘with the help of something’; the
denotational meanings of the stems supply the action itself and the
actual doer of the action or objects with the help of which the action
is done. Thus, duty-bound may be interpreted as ‘bound by duty’,
wind-driven as ‘driven by wind’, smoke-filled as ‘filled with smoke’. In
this case the distributional formula is monosemantic, hence compound
adjectives of this type would also be monosemantic and their lexical
meanings would be derived from the structural meaning of the
distributional formula and the combined meanings of the stems.
The distributional formula in compounds, however, is not always
monosemantic; if we take compound adjectives like, e.g., age-long,
world-wide, oil-rich, pleasure-tired, etc. built after n+a formula, we
shall see that the generalized meaning of the structure itself may be
interpreted in two ways: (a) through relations of comparison between the
components as in world-wide—’wide as the world’, snow-white, knee-high,
etc. and (b) through various relations of adverbial type as in oil-rich
that can be interpreted as ‘rich in oil’, pleasure-tired—’tired of
pleasure’, colour-blind—’blind to colors’, etc. Compound nouns,
consisting of two simple noun-stems (n+n) are most polysemantic in
structure. The polisemy of the structure often leads to a certain
freedom of interpretation of the semantic relations between the
components. For example, it is equally correct to interpret the compound
noun toy-man as ‘a toy in the shape of a man’ or ‘a man who makes toys,
a toy-maker’. The compound noun clock-tower may likewise be understood
as ‘a tower with a clock fitted in’ or ‘a tower that serves as a clock’.
Other examples to illustrate the polisemy of the distributional formula
and the variety of semantic relations that can be read into the same
structure1 are pontoon-bridge which may be interpreted as ‘a bridge
supported by pontoons, a bridge made of pontoons, pontoons in the form
of a bridge, bridge for pontoons’. Witch doctor may mean ‘a doctor who
is a witch’, ‘a person whose business it is to detect or smell out
witches, a doctor who witches’. The illustrations may be easily
multiplied, but the given examples are sufficient proof that the
polisemy of compound words is the result of the polisemy of the
structure and not the polysemantic character of individual components.
2.2.1 The Criteria of Compounds
What is the criterion of a compound? Many scholars have claimed that a
compound is determined by the underlying concept, others have advocated
stress, and some even seek the solution of the problem in spelling. H.
Koziol holds that the criterion of a compound is a psychological unity
of combination, adding that there “seems to be” a difference of
intonation between a compound and a syntactic group which it is,
however, difficult to describe.
Stress also has been advocated as a criterion. “Wherever we hear lesser
or least stress upon a word which would always show high stress in a
phrase, we describe it as a compound member ice – cream ‘ajs – krijm is
a compound, but ice cream is a phrase, although there is no denotative
difference of meaning. Uzbek “ош?озон” is a compound (the organ of body)
but “ош ?озон” is a phrase which means “a pot for making a plov”. In
German “hellgruen” is a compound which means “light – green”, but “hell
gruen” is a phrase with the meaning “light green” (ёру?лик яшил).
For a combination to be a compound there is one condition to be
fulfilled: the compound must be morphologically isolated from a parallel
syntactic group. Blackbird has the morpho – phonemic stress pattern of a
compound, black market money by a post – office. These two stress
patterns are the commonest among compound words and in many cases they
acquire a contrasting force distinguishing compound words from word
groups, especially when the arrangement and order of stems parallel the
word – order and the distributional formula of the phrase, thus a ‘green
– house’ – “a glass – house for cultivating tender plants” is contrasted
to a ‘green ‘house – “a house that is painted green”, ‘dancing – girl –
“a dancer” to ‘dancing ‘girl – “a girl who is dancing”, ‘missing – lists
– “lists of men and officers who are missing after a battle” to ‘missing
‘lists – “lists that are missing”, ‘mad – doctor – “a psychiatrist” to
‘mad ‘doctor – “a doctor who is mad”.
3) It is not in frequent, however, for both components to have level
stress as in, e.g. ‘arm – ‘chair, ‘icy – ‘cold, ‘grass – ‘green.
All substantial compounds show this pattern, with the exception of those
first element is the pronouns all or self. such compounds have double
stress (e.g. ‘all ‘soul, ‘all – ‘creator, ‘self – ‘respect, ‘self –
‘seeker) of adjectival compounds only two types have the stable stress
pattern heave stress / middle stress: the type color – blind and heart –
All other adjectival types are basically double – stressed.
2.2.2 Inseparability of Compound Words
Structurally the inseparability of compounds manifests itself in the
specific order and arrangement of stems which stand out most clearly in
all asyntactic compounds. It is of interest to note that the difference
between words and stems even when they coincide morphemically is
especially evident in compound adjectives proper. Adjectives like long,
wide, rich are characterized by grammatical forms of degrees of
comparison longer, wider, richer. The corresponding stems lack
grammatical independence and forms proper to the words and retain only
the part – of – speech meaning, thus compound adjectives with adjective
stems for their second components, e.g. age-long, oil-rich, do not form
degrees of comparison the way words long, rich do. They conform to the
general rule of polysyllabic adjectives having analytical forms of
degrees of comparison. This difference between words and stems is not so
noticeable in compound nouns with the noun stem for the second
component, as the paradigm of the compound word coincides with the
paradigm of the noun whose stem constitutes its structural centre.
Graphically most compounds have two types of spelling they are spelt
either solidly or with a hyphen. Both types of spelling when accompanied
by structural or phonetic peculiarities serve as a sufficient indication
of inseparability of compound words in contradistinction to phrases. It
is true that hyphenated spelling when not accompanied by some other
indications of inseparability may be sometimes misleading, as it may be
used in word-groups to underline the phraseological character of
combination as in, e.g. daughter-in-law, father-in-law, man-of-war,
brother-in-arms, etc. which are neither structurally, nor phonetically
marked by inseparability.
The two types of spelling typical of compounds, however, are not rigidly
observed and there are numerous fluctuations between solid or hyphenated
spelling on the one hand and spelling with a space between the
components on the other, especially in nominal compounds built on the
n+n formula. The spelling of these compounds varies from author to and
author from dictionary to dictionary. For example, words—war-path,
war-time, money-lender—are spelt both with a hyphen or solidly;
blood-poisoning, money-order, wave – length, blood-vessel, war-ship—with
a hyphen end with a break;1 underfoot, insofar, underhand—solidly and
with a break. This inconsistency of spelling in compounds, very often
accompanied by a level stress pattern (equally typical of word groups)
makes the outer indications of inseparability stand out less clearly and
gives rise to the problem of distinguishing between compound words and
The numerous borderline cases between compounds and word-groups are
connected with one of the most controversial problems in
word-composition, known in linguistic literature as “the stonewall
problem”, in other words the problem whether complexes like stone wall,
peace movement, summer days regularly spelt with a break should he
regarded as compound words or word-groups. The solution of the problem
centers on the nature of the first member of such formations. There are
two approaches to this problem and linguists, consequently, give
different appraisals of the graphic and phonetic integrity of such
Some linguists class such complexes as a specific group of compound
words on the ground that the connection between the members of such
complexes cannot be regarded as syntactic, as the usual means of
connection between two nouns typical of Modern English syntax is either
the possessive cafe or various prepositions:” They consequently conclude
that the connection in formation of the “stone wall” type is asyntactic
hence the members of these complexes are not words but grammatically
unshaped elements, i.e. stems. As a junction of two noun-stems they are
referred to compound words. The asyntactic structure is taken for a
sufficient proof of their inseparability and lack of graphic integrity
is disregarded. The proponents of this point of view go on to stale that
these complexes may also be interpreted as combinations of an adjective
with a noun, the adjective being formed from the noun-stem by means of
conversion for the given occasion, in which case a compound word would
remain primary and a word-group secondary. This brings the linguists to
the conclusion that these complexes make a specific group of compound
words, often termed neutral.1 they are characterized by structural
instability due to which they can be easily disintegrated into free
word-groups under the influence of parallel attributive combinations,
level stress and spelling with a break between the components.
The above-cited treatment of these nominal complexes and the disregard
of the outer, formal manifestations of inseparability is open to grave
doubts. On the one hand, the productivity of conversion in formation of
adjectives does not seem convincing because there are very few
adjectives’ of the type in independent use in Modern English; on the
other hand it is argued that Modern English nouns in the Common case,
singular are used in the attributive function and a purely syntactic
nature of the combination of two; full-fledged nouns has been almost
universally recognized in the last few decades. If we share the opinion,
we shall come-to the obvious conclusion that there exists a nominal type
of free phrases built on the formula N+N and a group of nominal
compounds built on the n+n formula which stands in correlative relations
to each other. The recognition of nominal free phrases deprives “neutral
compounds” of theoretical validity. Nominal compounds remain a specific
class of compounds but in this case the distributional formula even in
the most indisputable cases has only a weakened distinguishing force and
can by no means be taken for an overall criterion of their
inseparability. It is evident that the hyphenated spelling or at least
fluctuations between hyphenated spelling and spelling with a break
become most significant in distinguishing nominal compound words from
word-groups. Consequently nominal complexes which are regularly spelt
with a space between the components and are characterized by level
stress pattern can hardly be regarded as inseparable vocabulary units.
It is noteworthy that occasional compounds of this type which have
become-registered vocabulary units tend to solid or hyphenated spelling.
The component of Uzbek compounds are combined in this way: 1. phonetical
changes in the 1st components of compound words. The consonants in the
beginning of the 1st component may be changed into another component:
Ex: сич?ончўп – тиш?ончўп (the names of plant)
чилонжийда – жи лонжийда
созтупро? – со?тупро?
In some compounds suffixes may be omitted and may form variants of the
Ex: тугмачагул – тугмагул (“ча” is omitted)
гадойтахлит – гадотахлит (“й” is omitted.)
айта олмаслbк – айтолмаслик11 Ўзбек тилининг имло лу?ати 1976 й.
бўла олмаслик – бўлолмаслик22 “Сўзнинг морфологик вариантлари” Р.
Шукуров. 1990 й.
In compound word is ended with “йо”, it must be written separately if it
is ended with “ё” it must be written together as one word.
Ex: ?ишлай олмо? – ?ишлаёлмо?
ушлай олмо? – ушлаёлмо?
тў?ий олмо? – тў?иёлмо?
To form a compound verb with the verbs “емо?, демо?” which have “e”
sound in the root, one must add “я (й + а)” after “e, дe” e. g.: де+я
олмо? – деяолмо?, е+я олмо?, eя олмо?.
2. Phonetical changes in the 2nd components of compound words. Ex:
итбурун – итмурун Туябўйин – Туямўйин.
“б” consonant in the beginning of the second component a changed into
Ex: ?орабой – ?оравой, ?ўзибой – ?ўзивой
амакибачча – амакивачча, то?абачча – то?авачча.
Some suffixes maybe added to the second element of compound word.
Ex: The most productive suffix for this group is”ли” e. g.
In the book of A.P. Khodjiev’s “Compound and repeated word” ” ли” suffix
is given in brackets.
Ex: Such kinds of compound words are given in this book.
2.2.3. Motivation in Compound words.
Compound words are motivated2 through the individual lexical meanings of
their components and the meaning of the structure. In motivated compound
words the native speaker can see a connection between the lexical
meanings of the stems and the meaning of the order and arrangement of
components of the word. Motivation in compound words varies in degree.
There are compounds which are completely motivated, i.e. the lexical
meaning of these words is transparent and is easily deduced from the
lexical meanings of the stems and the meaning of their distributional
formulas. Compound words like wind-driven, sky-blue, foot-step,
foot-pump, door-handle, and bottle-opener may serve as examples of
completely transparent or motivated compound words. Motivation in
compound words may be partial, but again the degree will vary. Compound
words like hand-bag, flowerbed, handcuff are all only partially
motivated, but still the degree of transparency of their meanings is
different: hand-bag, e.g., is essentially ‘a bag designed to be carried
in the hand’, whereas handcuffs retain only a resemblance to cuffs and
in fact are ‘metal rings placed round the wrists of 3 prisoner’; a f
lower-bed is not ‘a mattress or piece of furniture’ as the lexical
meaning of the second component suggests; but ‘a piece1 of ground where
flowers grow’. Compound words with a smaller degree-of partial
motivation may be illustrated” by the words: walkup—’a house without an
elevator where one has to walk upstairs’, cast-off—’discarded’,
castle-builder—’a day-dreamer, one who builds castle; in the air’.
There are compound words that lack motivation altogether, i.e. the
native speaker does not see any obvious connection between the meaning
of their structure and the individual meanings of the stems and
consequently cannot deduce the lexical meaning of the word. Compound
words like eye-wash –‘something said or done to deceive a person’,
fiddlesticks – ‘nonsense rubbish’, wall-flower—’a woman who remains. by
the wall as a spectator at a dance, because not chosen as a partner’,
eye-servant—’a servant who attends faithfully to his duty only when
watched’, night-cap—’a drink taken before going to bed at night’,
dog-eared—’having the corners of the leaves turned down’ all lack
motivation and their lexical meanings cannot be deduced from the
meanings of their components and the meaning of their structure. Lack of
motivation in compound words may be often connected with the transferred
usage of the denotational meanings of the components or of the whole
word as in slow-coach—’a person who acts slowly’, sweet-tooth—’one who
likes sweet food and drink’, wall-flower; the words consequently acquire
a new co notational meaning not proper to either of their components.
Lack of motivation is of ten due to the specialized and unexpected
semantic relations embedded in the compound word as in, e.g.,
eye-servant, dog-days—’the hottest part of July and August’.
Sometimes the motivated and non-motivated meanings of the same word are
felt as two homonymous words, e.g. night-cap 1) a cap worn in bed at
night and 2) a drink taken before going to bed at night; eye-wash 1) a
liquid for washing the eyes and 2) something said or done to deceive a
person; eye-opener 1) enlightening or surprising circumstance and 2) a
drink of liquor.
Semantically compound words may be classified (1) according to the
degree of motivation, and (2) according to the structural meaning of
various distributional formulas described through the interrelation of
1) According to the degree of motivation compound words are subdivided
into (a) motivated or non-idiomatic, i.e. words marked either by
complete or partial motivation which makes the meaning of the word
transparent; (b) non-motivated or idiomatic, i.e. “words the lexical
meanings of which cannot be inferred from the individual meanings of
their components and the meaning of the distributional formula they are
2) According to the structural meaning or the type of semantic relations
between the components compound words may be classified into various
groups as words based on the relations of: (a) agent and action, e.g.
sunrise, earthquake, (b) object and action, e.g. warship, handshake, (c)
the part and the whole, e.g. plum-tree, shirt-collar, eye-ball, etc.,
(d) the place end the action, or the doer, e.g. street-fighting,
grass-hopper, garden-party, (e) the time and the action. e.g.
day-flight, night-school, winter-sport, etc., (f) purpose, e.g.
table-cloth, driving-suit, bird-cage, etc.
Chapter III Classification of Compounds
2.3 Types of Compounds according types of speech
Compound words may be classified
a) from the functional point of view;
b) from the point of view of the way the components of the compound are
linked together and
c) from the point of view of different ways of composition.
a) Functionally compounds are viewed as words belonging to different
parts of speech. The bulk of Modern English compound belong to nouns and
adjectives: e.g. arm – chair, baby – sitter, boiling – point, knee –
high, rain – driven, adverbs and connectives are represented by an
insignificant number of words, e.g. indoors, within, outside and we may
say that composition on the whole is not productive in adverbs and in
connectives. It is of interest to note that composition in verbs in
Modern English is not productive either. Verbs that are morphemically
compound, such as to (goose flesh, (to) weekend; prove to be words of
second derivation on the word – formation level.
b) from the point of view of the means by which the components are
joined together compound words may be classified into: 1) words formed
by mere placing one constituent after another in a definite order, e.g.:
door – handle, rain – driven. This means of linking the components is
typical of the greater part of Modern English compounds in all parts of
2) compound words whose components are joined together with a linking
element, as in speedometer Fro – Asian; compounds of this type are found
both in nouns and in adjectives but present a small group of words
considerable restricted by the nature of their components, The
components of compound words of this type are mostly joined with the
help of the linking vowel [ou] and occasionally the vowel. In both cases
the first component often contains a bound root. E.g. Fro – Asian, Sino
– Japanese, Anglo Saxon, tragicomic other examples of compound words of
this type are electro – dynamic, handicraft, handiwork. This group is
generally limited to the names of nationalities and scientific terms.
The components of compound nouns may also be joined with the help of the
linking consonant [slz] e.g. sportsman, tradesman, saleswoman,
bridesmaid, statesman, landsman and etc. This is also a very small group
of words restricted by the second component, which is, as a rule, one of
the three stems man – , woman – , people – , and the commonest of them
c) Compounds are also classified according to different ways of
compounding. There are two ways of composition and accordingly we
distinguish two types of compounds: those formed exclusively after a
composition pattern, the so called compounds and those formed by a
simultaneous operation of two types of word – formation: composition and
derivation, the so – called derivational compounds:
Compound words proper are formed by joining together stems of words
already available in the language, with or without the help of special
linking elements such as: door – step, age – long, baby – sitter,
looking – glass, they constitute the bulk of English compounds in all
parts of speech and include both productive and non – productive
In Uzbek the relationship between the components of compound words are
different: They show:
1. Comparison: карнайгул, от?уло? туя?уш, шерюрак, ?ўйкўз.
2. Relevance, purposed for something: гултувак (vase for flower),
мол?ўра, оловкурак, ток?айчи,?ийматахта. In English washing – machine,
blood – vessel (a tube through which bloods flows in the body).
3. Connection to some places: сувилон (a snake which lives in water),
то?олча, чўлялпиз, ?ў?онарава like in English zookeeper, postman, house
keeper, head – dress, ear – ring. In German Hausfrau, Wesserballspiel,
4. The mark of something: аччи?тош, ола?ар?а, шўрданак, ?изилиштон,
?изилтепа. In English long – legged, bluebell, slow – coach. Here are
some examples of German: Dampfheizung, Arbeitkleidung.
5. Relationship to quantity: бешбармо?, мингоё?, ?ир?о??айни, Бешари?.
This rule is also relevant to English compounds such as: three –
cornered, fifteen – fold, six – fold, five – sided polygon. In German
there are examples of this kind: Funfjahreplan.
Uzbek compound words are classified:
a) from the point of view of the way the components of the compound are
linked together: хомкалла, кўксултон, искабтопар.
b) from the point of view of agreeing:
тўйбоши, китобсевар, дунё?араш.
с) from the point of view of relationship between subject and predicate:
first elements of such kind compound will be predicate: гўшткуйди,
There are 6 types of compound words in Uzbek:
1. Compound nouns 4. Compound pronouns
2. Compound adjectives 5. Compound adverbs
3. Compound verbs 6. Compound number
Most frequently spread English compound words are:
1. Compound nouns
2. Compound adjectives
3. Compound adverbs
4. Compound verbs
German compound words are also divided into 4:
1. Compound nouns
2. Compound adjectives
3. Compound verbs
4. Compound numbers
a) Compound Nouns
2.3.1 Compound Nouns
Most English compound nouns are noun phrases that include a noun
modified by adjectives or attribute nouns. Due to the English tendency
towards conversion, the two classes are not always easily distinguished.
Most English compound nouns that consist of more than two words can be
constructed recursively by combining two words at a time. The compound
science fiction writer, for example, can be constructed by combining the
resulting compound with writer. Some compounds, such as salt and pepper
or mother – of pearl, can be constructed in this way, however.
In general, the meaning of a compound is a specialization of the meaning
of its head. The modifier limits the meaning of the head. This is most
obvious in descriptive compounds, also known as Karmad haraya compounds,
in which the modifier is used in an attributive or appositional manner.
A blackboard is a particular kind of board which is generally black, for
In determinative compounds, however, the relationship is not
attributive. For example, a foot stool is not a particular type of stool
that is like a foot. Rather, it is a stool for one’s foot or feet. (It
can be used for sitting on but that is not its primary purpose). In a
similar manner, the office manager is the manager of an office, an
armchair is a chair with arms, and a raincoat is a coat against the
rain. These relationships, which are expressed by prepositions in
English, would be expressed by grammatical case in other languages.
Compounds of this type are also known as tatpurusha compounds.
But of the above types of compounds are called endo centric compounds
because the semantic head is contained within the compound itself a
blackboard is a type of board, for example, and a footstool is a type of
However, in another common type of compound, the exocentric or ba
huvrihi compound, the semantic head is not explicitly expressed. a red
head, for example, is not a kind of head, but is a person with a red
head, but a person with a head that is as hard and unreceptive as a
block (i.e. stupid). And, outside of veterinary surgery, a lion – heart
is not a type of heart, but a person with a heart like a lion (in its
bravery, courage, fearlessness).
Exocentric compounds occur more often in adjectives than nouns. A
barefoot girl, for example, is not a girl that is a bare foot, but a
girl with a bare foot. Similarly, a V – 8 car is a car with a V – 8
engine rather than a car that is a V – 8, and a twenty – five – dollar
car is a car with a worth of $ 25, not a car that is $ 25. The compounds
shown here are bare, but more commonly, a suffixal morpheme is a added,
esp. – ed. Hence, a two – legged person is a person with two legs and
this is exocentric.
On the other hand, endocentric adjectives are also frequently formed,
using the suffixal morphemes: – ing or -er/or. A car – carrier is a
clear endocentric determinative compound: it is a thing that is a
carrier of cars. The related adjective, car – carrying, is also
endocentric: it refers to an object which is a carrying – thing.
These types account for most compound nouns, but there are other, rarer
types as well. Coordinative, copulative or dvandva compounds combine
elements with a similar meaning, and the compound meaning may be a
generalization instead of specialization. Bosnia – Herzegovina, for
example, is the combined area of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but a fighter –
bomber is an aircraft that is both a fighter and a bomber. Iterative or
amredita compounds repeat a single element, to express repetition or as
an emphasis. Day – by – day and go –go – go are examples of this type of
compound, which has more than one head.
Analyzability may be further limited by cranberry morphemes and semantic
changes. For instance, the word butterfly, commonly thought top be a
metathesis for flutter by, which the bugs do, is actually based on an
old bubbe – maise that butterflies are petite witches that steal butter
from window sills. Cranberry is a part translation from Low German,
which is why we cannot recognize the element cran (from the Low German
kraan or kroon, “crane”). The ladybird or ladybug was named after the
Christian expression “our Lady, the Virgin Mary”.
In the case of verb + noun compounds, the noun may be either the subject
or the object of the verb. In playboy, for example, the noun is the
subject of the verb (the boy plays), whereas it is the object in call
girl (someone calls the girl).
A black board is any board that is black, and equal prosodic stress can
be found on both elements (or, according to psycholinguist Steven
Pinker, the second one is accented more heavily.) A blackboard,
compound, may have started out as any other black board, but now is a
thing that is constructed in a particular way, of a particular material
and serves a particular purpose; the word is clearly accented on the
Sound patterns, such as stresses placed on particular syllables, may
indicate whether the word group is a compound or whether it is an
adjective – + – noun phrase. A compound usually has a falling
intonation: “blackboard”, the “White House”, as opposed to the phrases
“black board”. (Note that this rule does not apply in all contexts. For
example, the stress pattern “white house” would be expected for the
compound, which happens to be a proper name, but it is also found in the
emphatic negation “No, not the black house; the white house!”).
Uzbek compound nouns.
Uzbek compound nouns are formed in the following ways:
1. Noun and noun: от?уло?, ?ўларра
2. Adjective + noun: кўксултон, хомток
3. Noun + adjectivesective: гулбеор, ошкўк
4. Number + noun: мингоё?, ?ир?о?айни, учбурчак
5. Noun + verb ўринбосар, бешиктерватар
6. Verb + verb искабтопар, олиб сотар
Following compound words are written without hyphen:
1) The nouns with one stress: гулкўрпа, ош?озон, ў?илон, тутмайиз.
2) Nouns + aр suffix: отбо?ар, из?увар
3) Geographical places: Сирдарё, О?тепа
German Compound nouns are formed in these ways:
1. Noun + noun: Infinitivform
2. Verb + noun: Leitglied
3. Noun + adjective: Kleinkind, Reinmetall, Hochstufe
4. Number + noun: Erststellung, Drittdrosse, Tausendfuss
5. Pronoun + noun: Ichton, Erform, Ichbewusstsein
6. Adverb + noun: Spaetstellung
7. Praeposition + noun: Mitschueler, Zwischenglied, Abart.
German Noun + verb nouns may express different relationships:
1. Object of action: Kindererziehung, Blaubersammlung
2. Subject of action: Mutterliebe
3. Material: Brotteig
4. Time: Sonntagsanzug
5. Place: Dorfteich, Waldrande
6. Purpose: Brotmesser, Roman Schreiber
2.3.2 Compound Adjectives
English compound adjectives are constructed in a very similar way to the
compound noun. Black board jungle, gunmetal sheen and green monkey
disease are only a few examples.
There are some similarities in forming English and German compound
nouns: The components of some compound nouns may be joined with the help
of linking consonant: English compound nouns statesman, sportsman nouns
statesman, and sportsman are joined with the consonant “s”.
German compound nouns are joined:
· with the help of linking element – “s” or “es”
die Arbeit + s + der Plan = der Arbeitsplan
das Land + es + die Grenze = die Landesgrenze
· with the help of ” – in” or ” – en”.
der Student + en + die Versammlung = die Studentenversammlung
· with the help of linking element “e”
halt(en) + e + das Signal = das Haltesignal.
· without a’ linking element:
der Tausch + der Wert = der Tauschwert.
But in Uzbek all compound nouns are joined together without any linking
A compound adjective is a modifier of a noun. It consists of two or more
morphemes of which the left – hand component limits or changes the
modification of the right – hand one, as in “the dark – green dress”:
dark limits the green that modifies dress.
Solid compound adjectives
There are some well – established permanent compound adjectives that
have become solid over a longer period, especially in American usage:
earsplitting, eye catching. However, in British usage these, apart from
downtown, are more likely written with a hyphen: ear – splitting.
Other solid compound adjectives are for example:
· Numbers that are spelled out and have the suffix – fold added:
“fifteen ‘fold”, “six fold”.
· Points of the compass: “northwest”, northwesterly, “northwestwards”,
but not North –West Frontier.
Hyphenated compound adjectives
A compound adjective is hyphenated if the hyphen helps the reader
differentiate a compound adjective from two adjacent adjectives that
each independently modifies the noun. Compare the following examples:
· “acetic acid solution”: a bitter solution producing vinegar or acetic
acid (acetic + acid + solution)
· “acetic – acid solution “: a solution of acetic acid.
The hyphen is unneeded when capitalization or italicization making
· “Old English scholar “: an old person who is English and a scholar, or
and old scholar who studies English
· “Old English scholar”: is scholar of Old English
· “De facto proceedings” not (de – facto)
If, however, there is no risk of ambiguities, it may be written without
a hyphen: “Sunday morning walk”. Hyphenated compound adjectives may have
been formed originally by an adjective preceding noun:
· “Round table” – “round – table discussion”
· “Blue sky” – “blue sky law”
· “Red light” – “red light district”
· “Four wheels” – “four wheel drive” (the singular, not the plural is
Others may have originated with a verb preceding and adjective or adv:
“feel good” – “feel – good factor”, “by now, pay later” – “by – now pay
– later purchase”.
Yet others are created with an original verb preceding a preposition:
· “Stick on” – “stick – on label”
· “Walk on” – “walk – on part”
· “Stand by” – “stand – by fare”
· “Roll on; roll off” – “roll – on roll – off ferry”.
The following compound adjectives are always hyphenated when they are
not written as one word:
· An adjective preceding a noun to which –d or –ed has been added as a
past – participle construction, used before a noun:
o “loud – mouthed hooligan”
o “middle – aged lady”
o “rose – tinted glasses ”
· A noun, adjective, or adv preceding a present participle:
o “an awe – inspiring personality”
o “a long – lasting affair”
o “a far –reaching decision”
· Numbers spelled out or as numerals:
o “seven-year itch”
o “five-sided polygon”
o “20th-century poem”
o “30-pice band”
o “tenth-story window”
· A numeric with the affix –fold has a hyphen (15-fold), but when
spelled out takes a solid construction (fifteen fold).
· Numbers, spelled out or numeric, with added –odd: sixteen –odd,
· Compound adjectives with high- or low-: “high-level discussion”,
· Colors in compounds:
o “a dark-blue sweater”
o “a reddish-orange dress”.
· Fractions as modifiers are hyphenated: “five-eight inches”, but if
numerator or denominators are already hyphenated, the fraction itself
does not take a hyphen: “a thirty-three thousandth part”.
· Fraction used as nouns have no hyphens: “I ate only one third of pie”.
· Comparatives and superlatives in compound adjectives also take
o “the highest-placed competitor”
o “A shorter-term loan”.
· However, a construction with most is not hyphenated:
o “The most respected member”.
· Compounds including two geographical modifiers:
o “African-American” (sometimes)
· But not
o “Central American”.
The following compound adjectives are not normally hyphenated:
· Where there is no risk of ambiguity:
o “a Sunday morning walk”
· Left-hand components of a compound adjective that end in –ly that
modify right-hand components that are past participles (ending in –ed):
o “a hotly disputed subject”
o “a greatly improved scheme”
o “a distantly related celebrity”
· Compound adjectives that include comparatives and superlatives with
more, most, less or least:
o “a more recent development”
o “the most respected member”
o “a less opportune moment”
o “the least expected event”
· Ordinarily hyphenated compounds with intensive adv in front of
o “very much admired classicist”
o “Really well accepted proposal”.
English compound adjectives are formed:
1. Adjective + noun: blackboard
2. Adjective + adjective: blue-green, dark-red, light-green.
3. Adjective + verb: highlight
4. Adjective + preposition: forthwith.
In Uzbek compound adjectives are formed in the following way:
1. Noun + noun – these adjectives are written separately: ?аво ранг, кул
2. Adjective + noun – these adjectives are written as one word:
3. Noun or adverb a verb with the suffix “ap”: тезо?ар, эрксевар,
But these adjectives are hyphenated when we translate it into English:
ме?натсевар – hard-working, эрксевар – peace – loving and etc.
4. Noun + “apo” word: хал?аро as in English international.
There are a group of words which form compound adjectives, such as:
аралаш, йў?, кўл, олий, оч, тў?, тўла, чала: ?умаралаш лой, тенги йў?
?из, кўп тармо?ли со?а, олий маълумотли, оч ?изил, ?орни тў?, тў? ?изил.
In English we can also find the signal words which form compound
adjectives; but they are hyphenated: light, dark, long, middle, high:
e.g. light – green, dark-blue, middle-aged, long-legged, and
German compound adjectives are formed like English compound adjectives.
1. Adjective + adjective + Adjektive = shwarzweissrot.
Deutsch + usbekisch = deutsch – usbekisch
2. Hell + gruen = hell – grueun. As in English light – green
3. Adjektive + Adverb = bekannt + in der Welt = Wellbekannt
машхур + дунёда = дунёга машхур
hart + wie Stahl = Stahlhart
?атти? + пўлатдай
This kind of adjectives always express comparison rot + wie ziegel =
ziegelrot – красный как кирпич
blau + wie himmel = himmelblau – синий как небо
But in English “as … as” is used to show comparison: as blue as the sky
2.3.3 Compound Verbs
In Uzbek compound verbs are formed by joining two words:
1. Verb + noun – verb word: дам олмо? (to rest), ?имоя ?илмо?(to
defend), пайдо бўлмо?(to appear).
Some of them are synonyms to simple verbs:
ёрдам бермо?, = ёрдамлашмо?, – to help – to give a hand
2. Verb + verb = сотиб олмо?, чи?ариб олмо?, ютиб олмо?.
Some verbs such as ў?иб чи?ди, кўриб бўлди, бошлаб юборди are not
compound verbs in speech. They have no a new lexical meaning.
Verbs which are considered compound , may not be a compound verb in
English and German:
му?окама ?илмо? – to discuss (simple verb)
?олиб бўлмо? – to win
In German the main word of compound verb is the second word, but
modifying one will be:
teilnehmen – ?атнашмо?
rad fahren – велосипедда учмо?
fertigmachen-tayorlamoq, oxiragacha bajarmoq.
festhalten – ushlamoq.
leichtfallen – oson bo`lmoq
· Verb: kennenlernen – знакомитъся.
2.3.4 Classification of compound Words Based on Correlation
· According to the type of correlation all productive types of compound
words may be classified into four major classes:
1. Adjectival-nominal compounds comprise four subgroups of compound
adjectives-three of them are proper and one derivational, they are built
after the following formulas and patterns:
· a, b) the n+a formula, e. g. snow-white, colour-blind, journey-tired
correlative; with word-groups of the A + as+N,. A +prp+N type, e. g.
white as snow, blind to colours, tired of journey. The structure is
· c) the s+ved formula, e g. fear-stained, duty-bound, wind-driven
correlated with word-groups of the type Ved with/by+N, e. g. stained
with tears, bound by duty, etc. The distributional formula is
monosemantic and is based on the instrumental relations between the
· d) num+n formula, e. g. (a) two-day (beard), (a) seven-year (plan),
(a) forty-hour (week) correlative with Num + N type of phrases, e. g.
two days, seven years, etc. Adjectives of this subgroup are used only
· e) the (a+n) + -ed pattern of derivational compounds, e. g.
long-legged, low-ceilinged. This structure includes two more variants;
the first member of the first component may be a numeral stem or a
noun-stem (num+n) +-ed, (n+n) +-ed, e. g. one-sided, three-cornered,
doll-faced, bell-shaped. Compounds of this subgroup are correlative with
phrases of the type—with (having) + A+N, with (having) + Num+N, with
(having)+N+N (or N+of+N), e. g. with (or having) a low ceiling, with (or
having) one side, with (or having) three corners, with (or having) a
doll face for with (or having) the face of a doll, with (or having) the
shape of a bell.
· The system of productive types of compound adjectives may be presented
as follows (table 2).
2. Verbal-nominal compounds belong to compound nouns. They may all be
described through one general distributional structure n+nv, i. e. a
combination of a simple noun-stem with a deverbal noun-stem. This
formula includes four patterns differing in the character of the
deverbal noun-stern. They are all based on verbal-nominal word-groups,
built after the formula V+N or V+prp+N:
· a) [n+v+-er)] pattern, e. g. bottle-opener, stage-manager,
baby-sitter, peace-fighter, is monosemantic and is based on agcntive
relations that can be interpreted as ‘one who does smth’;
· b) [n+ (v+-ing)] pattern, e. g, rocket-flying, stage-managing, is
monosemantic and may be interpreted as ‘the act of doing smth’;
c) [n+ (v+tion/-ment)] pattern, e. g. price-reduction,
office-management, is monosemantic and may be interpreted as ‘the act of
d) compound nouns with the structure n+(v+ conversion), i, e. a
combination of – a simple noun-stem with a deverbal noun-stem resulting
from conversion, e. g. wage-art, dog-bite, chimney-sweep. The pattern is
3. V e r b a l v e r b compounds are a11 derivational compound nouns
built after one formal n [(v+adv)+conversion] and correlative with
phrases of the V+Adv type, a. g. a break-down from (to) break down, a
hold-up from (to): hold up, a lay-out from (to) lay out. The pattern is
polysemantic and is circumscribed by the manifold semantic relations
typical of conversion pairs.11 See ‘Word – Formation’, § 17.
4. Nominal compounds are all nouns built after the most polysemantic
distributional formula (n+n); both stems are in most cases simple, e. g.
pencil-case, windmill, horse-race. Compounds of this class correlate
with nominal word-groups mostly characterized by the N+prp+N structure.
Table 3 shows the system of productive types of compound nouns of these
three structural classes.
2.3.5 Distributional formulas of Subordinative Compounds
The internal structure of subordinative compounds is marked by a
specific pattern of order and arrangement in which the stems follow one
another. The order in which the stems are placed within a compound is
rigidly fixed in Modern English as the structural centre of the word is
always its second component. Stems of almost every part of speech are
found in compounds but they are combined to make up compound words
according to a set of rigid rules for every part of speech. The choice
of stems and the rules of their arrangement and order are known as
distributional or structural formulas and patterns of compound words.
As to the order of components subordinative compound words may be
classified into two groups:
a) Syntactic compounds whose components are placed in the order that
resembles the order of words in free phrases arranged according to the
rules of syntax of Modern English.
The order of the stems in compounds, e.g. bluebell, slowcoach, mad –
doctor (a+n) reminds one of the order and arrangement of the
corresponding words in phrases like a blue bell, a slow coach, a mad
doctor (A+N); compounds like, e.g. know – nothing, kill-joy, tell-tale
made up on the formula v+n resemble the arrangement of words in phrases
like (to) kill joy, (to) know nothing, (to) tell tales (V+N); the order
of components in compounds consisting of two noun – stems door-handle,
day-time (n+n) resembles the order of words in nominal phrases with the
attributive function of the first noun as in stone wall, spring time,
peace movement, etc. (N+N).
b) Asyntactic compounds whose stems are not placed in the order in which
the corresponding words can be brought together under the rules of
syntax of the language. For example it is universally known that in free
phrases adjectives cannot be modified by adjectives, noun modifiers
cannot be placed before adjectives or participles, ye t this kind of
asyntactic arrangement of stems is typical of compounds among which we
find combinations of two adjective stems, e.g. red-hot, bluish-black,
pale-blue; words made up of noun – stems placed before adjective or
participle stems, e.g. oil-rich, tear-stained, etc.
Both syntactic and asyntactic compound words in each part of speech
should be described in terms of their distributional formulas. For
example, compound adjectives are mostly formed of noun, adjective or
participle stems according to the formulas n+a, e.g. oil-rich,
world-wide; n+ved11 For conventional symbols see ‘Word – Formation’, §
8. , e.g. snow-covered, home-grown; a+a, e.g. pale-green, red-hot, etc.
Borderline between compound words and free word-groups
Compound words as inseparable vocabulary units taking shape in a
definite system of grammatical forms and syntactic characteristics are
generally clearly distinguished from and often opposed to free
word-groups. Their inseparability finds expression in the unity of their
structural, phonetic and graphic integrity.
2.4 Compound words and free word groups
Compound words as inseparable vocabulary units are on the one hand
clearly distinguished from free word-groups by a combination of their
specific stress pattern, spelling and their distributional formulas. On
the other hand, compound words in Modern English lie astride the border
between words and word-groups and display many features common to
word-groups, thus revealing close lies and parallelism with the system
of free phrases.11 Prof. A. I. Smirnitsky as far back as the late
forties pointed out rigid parallelism existing between free word –
groups and derivational compound adjectives which he termed “grammatical
compounds”. The linguistic analysis of extensive language data proves
that there exists a rigid correlation between the system of free phrases
and all types of subordinative compounds. The correlation embraces both
the structure and the meaning of compound words and seems to be the
pivot point of the entire system of productive present-day English
composition. The analysis of the structural and semantic correlation
between compound words and free word-groups enables us to find the
features most relevant to composition and set e system o; ordered rules
for productive formulas after which an infinite number of new compounds
constantly appear in the language.
There is a correlation and parallelism between the structure of
subordinative compound words and corresponding phrases, which manifests
it in the morphological character of the components. Compound words are
generally made up of the stems of those parts of speech that form the
corresponding free word-groups. The stem of the central member or she
head22 See ‘Word-Groups and Morphological Units’, § 3. of the word-group
becomes the structural and semantic centre of the compound, i.e. its
second component. e.g. heart-sick, is made up of the stems of “the noun’
heart and adjective sick which form the corresponding phrase sick at
heart, with the adjective sick for its head; man-made consists of the
stems of the words that make the corresponding phrase made by man;
door-handle similarly corresponds to the handle of the door, clasp-knife
to the knife that clasps, etc. In all these cases the stem of the
head-member of the word-group, in our case sick-, made-, handle- becomes
the structural centre of the corresponding compound, i.e. its second
The order of the stems coincides with the word-order in word-groups only
in the case of syntactic compounds, such as, e.g., blackboard,
mad-doctor, pickpocket, tell-tale, etc., in which the structural centre
takes the same place as the head of corresponding word-groups.
In compounds each part of speech correlates only with certain structural
types of phrases. For example, productive compound adjectives reveal
correlation mostly with adjectival-nominal word-groups,11
Adjectival-nominal word-groups is a conventional term of this type of
word-groups. i.e. word-groups whose heads are adjectives (or Numerals
and Participles) of the type A+prp+N, Ved+ by/with+N, with+A+N, e.g,
adjectives oil-rich, heart-sick correspond to word-groups rich in oil,
sick at heart (i.e., n+a?A+prp+N); duty-bound, smoke-filled to bound by
duty, filled with smoke (i.e., n+ved+Ved+by/with+N); low-ceilinged to
with a low ceiling [(a+n) +ed] ?with+A+N. Productive compound nouns
correlate mostly with nominal word-groups (consisting of two nouns),
verbal-nominal and verb-adverb word-groups, e.g.. Moonlight,
diving-suit, correspond to the light of the moon, a suit for diving”
(i.e. n+n?N+prp+N): proof-reader, peace-fighting to (to) read proofs,
(to) fight for peace (i.e., n+nv?V+N, V+prp+N), etc. So it follows that
the distributional formulas of compound words in each part of speech are
circumscribed by the structure of correlated word-groups.
Semantically, the relations between the components of a compound mirror
the semantic relations between the member-words in correlated
word-groups. The semantic relations established between the components,
for example, in compound adjectives built after n+ved formula, e.g.
duty-bound, snow-covered are circumscribed by the instrumental relations
typical of the members of correlated word-groups of the type Ved + by
/with+N regardless of the actual lexical meanings of the stems; compound
adjectives of the (a+n)+ed pattern like long-legged, straight-backed
mirror possessive relations found between words in correlated
word-groups of the with+A+N type, e.g. with long legs, with a straight
back; compound nouns built after the pattern n+(v+-er)—letter-writer,
bottle-opener, traffic-controller display agentive semantic relations
typical of word-groups ‘one who writes letters’; ‘the thing that opens
bottles’ built after the general formula N that V+N.
Structural and semantic correlation by no means implies a one-to-one
correspondence of each individual pattern of compound words to one
word-group formula or pattern. For example the n+nv formula of compound
nouns comprises different patterns such as [n+(v+-er)] rocket-flyer,
bottle- opener, cover-shooter, [n+(v+-ing] street-fighting,
rocket-flying, cover-shooting; both patterns correlate in the final
analysis with verbal-nominal word-groups of one formula—V+N or
V+prp+N,e.g. to flyrockets, to fight in the streets, to shoot from a
cover. However, the reverse relationship is not uncommon, e;g. one
distributional formula of compound adjectives (n+a) in words like
age-long, sky-high, colourblind corresponds to a variety of individual
word-group patterns which differ in the grammatical and semantic
relations between member-words expressed by the preposition, thus,
compounds journey-tired, girl-shy, oil-rich, world-wide correspond to
tired of journey (A+of+N), shy before girls (A+before+N); rich in oil
(A+in+N);wide as the world (A+as+N). Nominal compound made up of two
simple noun-stems (n+n) may serve, as another example of the semantic
correlation between formulas of compound nouns with a variety of
individual patterns of nominal word-groups. Compound nouns like
doorstep, hand-bag, handcuffs incorporate manifold semantic relations
found between member-words of various patterns of the general formula of
word-groups N+prp+N. Nominal compounds appear to express freely in a
concise form what can be expressed only in a more elaborate and
complicated periphrastic way by word-groups. “It should be remembered
that the semantic relations in some cases may be interpreted
Even the few examples given as illustration lead us to the conclusion
that the structure of compound words, as a rule, is more concise and of
much wider semantic range than the structure of correlated word-groups
due to the fact that compound words do not require any elaborates way to
express the relationship between their components except their order.
Therefore compound words which establish regular correlative relations
with word-groups are on the one hand motivated and on the other hand
serve as patterns, or sets of structural and semantic rules guiding the
spontaneous formation of new compound words. Consequently motivation and
regular semantic and structural correlation between compound words and
word-groups may be regarded as factors which arc most conducive to high
productivity of compound words. It is natural that formulas which do not
establish such regular correlative” relations and which result in
compound words characterized by lack or very low degree of motivation,
must he regarded as unproductive, for example, compound nouns built
after a+n formula, e. g. blackbird, bluebell, mad-doctor, etc., are
marked by lack of motivation or high degree of idiomaticity, hence the
formula a+n for compound nouns is unproductive for Modern English.
2.5 Diachronic approach to compound words
Like all other linguistic phenomena compounding may be approached
synchronically and diachronically. If a synchronic treatment
concentrates on structural and semantic features relevant for productive
patterning of compound words, the diachronic treatment is concerned with
the various changes compound words undergo in the course of time and the
way compound words appear in the language. Once a compound has been
formed it is subject to all the phonological changes affecting English
polysyllabic words. Various changes in the phonetic structure and stress
pattern of compound words may result in a number of changes in its
morphemic structure. The separate morphemes in a compound may become
fused or even lost altogether; the meanings of the components may also
fuse in the course of time into a newer meaning or become forgotten. As
a result of this process, known as the process of simplification,
compound words may undergo such radical changes that they may be even
transformed into derived or simple words. For illustration of historical
development of the morphemic structure of compounds see
‘Word-Structure’, § 5.
Productive types of compound nouns Table 3
A. Verbal-Nominal Phrases
1. the reducer of price
to reduce 2. the reducing of prices
prices 3. the reduction of prices
to shake 4. the shake of hands
[n + (v+- er)]
[n + (v+ conversion) ]
B. Verb-Adverb Phrases
to break down
to cast away
to run away
[(v+ adv) + conversion ]
C. Nominal Phrases
1. a tray or ashes
2. the neck of the bottle
3. a house in the country;
a chair with arms
4. a ship run by steam
5. the doctor is a woman
6. a fish resembling a sword
[n2 + n1]
There are many words in Modem English that do not in any way differ from
the bulk of simple words and yet have undergone the process of
simplification and may be traced back to their original compound
Ways of Forming Compounds. Sources of Compounds
The actual process of building compound words may take different forms:
1) Compound words a rule are built spontaneously after 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, overturn,
overthrow (adv+v), were formed. The structure ceased to be productive
and today 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 blue1 flowers’, scarecrow (from an
earlier scare-the-crows)—’a figure used to scare birds away from crops’,
pickpocket (from pick the pocket)—’one who steals from pockets’,
bridesmaid—’an unmarried woman attending the bride at a wedding’,
bull’s-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, their part-of-speech meaning and the whole
phrase has become isolated in form, specialized in meaning and thus
turned into an inseparable unit—a word acquiring semantic and
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—highway was once actually a high way for it was raised above the
surrounding countryside for better drainage and ease of travel. Now we
use highway without any idea of the original sense of the first
element.11 The example is borrowed from A. Sheard, The Words We Use.
Andre Deutsch, London, 1962.
Productive types of compound adjectives Table 3
A. as white as snow
Relations of resemblance
B. free from carp; rich in oil; greedy for power; tired of pleasure2.
care-free oil-rich power-greedy pleasure-tired
Various adverbial relations
C. covered with snow; bound by duty
Instrumental (or agentive relations)
D. two days
4. (a) two-day (beard) (a) seven-year (plan)
—num + n
E. with (having) long, legs
—5. long-legged(a+ n) +
Modern English is very rich in Compound words. Compound words are made
up by joining two or more stems.
Ex: taxi-driver, in German Weltoffenheit, in Uzbek кунгабо?ар.
A compound word has a single semantic structure. We distinguish the
meaning of the compound words from the combined lexical meaning of its
components. Ex: “pencil-case” is a case for pencils. A change in the
order of components of compound words brings a change in the lexical
Ex: life-boat – “a boat of special construction for saving lives.
Boat-life – life on board of a ship.
Compound words are classified into completely motivated partially
motivated and non-motivated compound words”.
In completely motivated compound words the lexical meaning of compounds
is easily deduced from the lexical meanings of the stems.
Ex: book-case, door-handle.
The compound words “a flower-bed, walk-up are partially motivated
compounds because we can guess their meaning partially”. The compounds
in which the connection between the meaning and structure and the
meanings of components of compounds can not seen from the meaning of its
components are called non-motivated compound words. Ex: wall-flower – a
woman who remains at wall and is not invited to a dance.
Uzbek and German compounds don’t have non-motivation. Compound words may
be classified from the functional point of view or according to their
belonging to different parts of speech.
Many of English and German compounds belong to nouns and adjectives
while Uzbek compounds belong to nouns, adjectives and verbs:
Noun: looking-glass, armchair, homework.
Arbeitkleidung, Naturwissenschaft (German).
хонтахта, сувилон (Uzbek).
Adjective: hard-working, well-behaved, dry-drink.
hell – gruen, weltbekannt.
?аво ранг, хал?аро, ме?натсевар.
Adverb: indoors, within, outside.
аллаким, шу ерда, у ерда.
From the point of view how the components are joined together the
compound words may be classified into: a) components whose components
are joined with a die Entwicklungslaender, der Landbau.
This is also one of the criteria of distinguishing of compounds from
Like other linguistic phenomena we may approach to the study of
compounds synchronically and diachronically. Synchronically we study the
structural and semantic patterns of compound words while diachronically
we study the various changes compound words undergone on the course of
time and the way compound words appear in the language.
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