Compounding in Distributed Morphology

Heidi Harley

in The Oxford Handbook of Compounding

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

Compounding in Distributed Morphology

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  • Linguistics
  • Cognitive Linguistics



This chapter takes a purely syntactic approach to compounding, within the framework of Distributed Morphology (DM), treating compounding as a species of syntactic incorporation. First, it briefly reviews the structure of the DM framework, with attention to the status of inflectional, derivational, and Root morphemes within it. The chapter then considers the implications of the theory for various familiar forms of English compounding, including synthetic argument compounds, synthetic modifier compounds, primary (‘root’) compounds, and phrasal compounds.

Keywords: syntactic incorporation; morphemes; English compounding; synthetic argument compounds; synthetic modifier compounds; primary compounds; phrasal compounds

Article.  6183 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Cognitive Linguistics

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