Back to list

Detail of contribution

Auteur: Cosima SCHOLZ

Exocentric compounding in the Parallel Architecture

Abstract/Résumé: Over the past decades it has been noted that nominal compounds seem to be "notoriously non-compositional" (Partee 1984: 165), requiring some sort of "semantic glue" (Partee, 1984: 167) in the form of a free variable that mediates between the different constituents of a compound. Numerous accounts have been made to identify the nature of this relation (cf. Weiskopf 2007). It should be noted, however, that this discussion is usually based on English and Germanic endocentric compounds. In my talk, I will address the question if and how structurally exocentric compound phenomena can be integrated into this discussion. I will offer a clearly defined terminology that differentiates between so called metaphorical and exocentric compounds and allows for a coherent and comparative perspective on different types of compounding. My case in point for this talk are Romance VN-compounds such as for example Spanish "correpasillos" (lit. run-hallways; ,Bobbycar'). Concerning the relation between the nominal and the verbal element, it is argued that the relation between the two constituents is in all cases restricted to the argument structure of the embedded verb, but it does not need to be thematic in a narrow sense. With respect to the denotation of the whole compound it will be shown that Romance VN-compounding is a polysemic word-formation type. I will identify six different meaning types that can be related systematically to the internal structure of the compound. This is mainly achieved by applying a decompositional semantic representation to the argument structure of Romance VN-compounding (cf. Jackendoff 1990). It is claimed that the main difference between Romance and Germanic (synthetic) compounding is twofold: Firstly, the semantic underspecification in Romance VN-compounding does not lie between the two constituents but must be located elsewhere and secondly, Romance VN-compounds systematically offer meanings that cannot be attested for Germanic synthetic compounds. My findings are implemented in a construction-based model of word-formation, i. e. Construction Morphology (cf. Booij 2010). This model crucially builds on the Tripartite Architecture developed by Jackendoff (1997) in that it explicitly transfers the idea of corresponding information levels to an autonomous subgrammar. Thus, I will offer a comprehensive analysis of Romance VN-compounds with special focus on the conceptual structure. Booij, G. 2010. Construction Grammar. Oxford: Oxford UP. Jackendoff, R. 1990. Semantic Structures. Cambridge: MIT Press. Jackendoff, R. 1997. The Architecture of the Language Faculty. Cambridge: MIT Press. Partee, B. 1984. Compositionality. In B. Partee. 2004. Selected Papers, 153-181. Malden: Blackwell. Weiskopf, D. 2007. Compound Nominals, Context and Compositionality. Synthese 156. 161-204.