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Detail of contribution

Auteur: Pius TEN HACKEN

A comparison of three analyses of selected compound types

Abstract/Résumé: A central issue in the interpretation of compounds is determining the relationship between the two components. In the 1970s, two opposing approaches were developed. For root compounds such as steamboat, Levi (1978) proposed a set of recoverably deletable predicates (RDPs), whereas Allen (1978) argued for the Variable R Condition (Var R). In an RDP approach, the compounding construction provides a limited number of specific possible relationships, whereas Var R posits that the possible relationships derive from the meaning of the components. We can observe a similar opposition between Jackendoff’s and Lieber’s frameworks. Jackendoff (2009, 2010) proposes a set of basic functions specific to compounding. However, as opposed to RDPs, these functions are combined with each other and with elements of the components’ meaning by generative mechanisms that make a much more specific and richer characterization of the meaning possible. Lieber’s (2009) division of the meaning of the components into skeleton and body results in an approach more closely related to Var R, in the sense that the relationship is determined on the basis of the components. Whereas Jackendoff and Lieber both start from the components of the compound, Štekauer’s (1998) approach is to start from the opposite end, from the concept to be named. In the case of steamboat, OT3 is used. In all frameworks, the nature of the question of how to determine the relationship is changed dramatically when the head component contains a verbal element, e.g. taxi driver. In all approaches starting from the components, the argument structure of the verbal element provides the basis for the relationship that links the components. In the onomasiological approach, this corresponds to OT1. The question of how far the scope of these mechanisms should be extended depends on the nature and status of the definition of compounding. Ten Hacken (1994) proposes a definition that takes the way the relationship between the components is determined as the main criterion for what constitutes a compounding construction. Such a definition is entirely compatible with approaches in which special mechanisms are invoked for compounds (e.g. Jackendoff’s basic functions) or where compounds fall into specific classes (e.g. OTs). Among less prototypical types of compounding, exocentric compounds are excluded from the domain of compounding by ten Hacken (2010), whereas phrasal compounds (ten Hacken, 2003) and neoclassical compounds (ten Hacken, 2012) find a natural place within this domain. In the case of less prototypical types of compounding, the question of classification should be studied in conjunction with the choice of an approach for the analysis of compounds.