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Auteur: Pavol ŠTEKAUER

Compounding and onomasiological types

Abstract/Résumé: The paper presents an approach to compounds different from and complementary to the traditional generative and structuralist semasiological accounts. Unlike the generative binary structure the basic onomasiological structure is ternary, including the base and the determining and the determined constituents of the mark. The interrelation between the onomasiological (conceptual) and the onomatological (morphematic) levels establishes five basic Onomasiological Types (OTs) depending on whether all or only some of the constituents are expressed by morphemes. The paper examines how different types of ‘compounds’ fit this model. Thus, for example, while verbal compounds are produced by means of OT1 as exemplified in (1) (1) Object – Action – Agent novel-write-er primary compounds are produced by OT3 (the determined element of the mark is not expressed): (2) Location-(State)-Patient wall-0-paper These different naming strategies significantly affect the interpretation of ‘compounds’. The interpretation of OT3 compounds is much more difficult due to the absence at the onomatological level of the actional constituent that relates the mark and the base. The opposition between OT1 and OT3 illustrates the omnipresent conflict between two contradictory tendencies, in particular, the tendency towards clarity of expression (listener-friendly – OT1) and the tendency towards the economy of expression (speaker-friendly - OT3). Experimental data indicates that the selection of either of these strategies in word-formation is influenced by sociolinguistic factors, including language background, education and age. Furthermore, it will be shown that the whole subtype of what has been traditionally called back-formation (to brainwash, to proofread, to spotweld, etc.)