The Classification of Compounds

Sergio Scalise and Antonietta Bisetto

in The Oxford Handbook of Compounding

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199695720
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

The Classification of Compounds

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  • Linguistics
  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology



This chapter suggests that all the existing proposals for classifying the huge variety of compounds of natural languages are – for one reason or another – unsatisfactory, and proposes a classification of compounds based on criteria which are as consistent as possible and, hopefully, universally valid. It is organized as follows. Section 3.2 discusses the major problems arising from previous attempts at classifying compounds. Section 3.3 analyses the classification proposed in Bisetto and Scalise (2005). Section 3.4 proposes amendments to the previous classification and discusses the basis for the amendments. Finally, Section 3.5 touches on a number of residual problems and presents some conclusions.

Keywords: compounding; classification; natural language

Article.  7073 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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