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Seminar Compounding

Seminar Compounding.
Questions to be discussed:
1. What is compounding?
2. What is the problem of English compounds?
3. What are the criteria of differentiation between compounds and phrases?
4. What are the principles of classification of Modern English compounds?
5. How can the components of English compounds be joined together?
6. How can the connecting elements be represented?
7. Characterize English compounds from the point of view of their morphemic structure.
8. What can you say about the meaning of compound words?
9. What is peculiar about English compound verbs?
10. What is the difference between endocentric and exocentric compounds?
11. Discuss the difference between compound words proper and derivational compounds.
12. Characterize reduplicative compounds.
Recommended Literature
1. Антрушина Г.Б. и др. Лексикология английского языка,
М.,2001, с.104-114
2. Arnold I.V. The English Word, M., 1986, pp.108-133
3. Ginzburg R.S. and others. A Course in Modern English Lexicology, M., 1979, pp.140-159
Additional Literature
1. Khidekel S.S. and others. Readings in Modern English Lexicology, L., 1969, pp.91-97; 117122.
2. Мешков О.Д. Словообразование современного английского языка, М., 1976, с.172-241.
3. Мешков О.Д. Словосложение в современном английском языке, М., 1985
4. Мешков О.Д. Семантические аспекты словосложения английского языка, М., 1986
5. Смирницкий А.И. Лексикология английского языка, М., 1956, с.114-137.
The stems of compounds may be joined:
a) without any linking element;
b) with a linking element: vowels “o” or “i” or the consonant “s”;
c) with form-word stems: “and”, “for”, “or” and the like.
Ex.1 Define the way the stems are joined together in the following compound words:
handicraft, Anglo-American, mainland, townsfolk, salesman, backbone, hangman, Anglo-Saxon,
letterbox, batsman, bridesmaid, get-at-able, stay-at-home, mother-of-thousands, mother-in-law,
up-to-date, workday.
There two semantic types of compound words: idiomatic and non-idiomatic.
Ex.2 Pick out idiomatic compounds. Translate them into Russian:
bluebell, undertaker, dragon-fly, sea-coast, fountain-pen, red-hot, heart-broken, butter-fingers,
wolf-dog, sunfish, school-building, lady-bird, lady-in-waiting, gaslight, passer-by, workday,
downfall, armchair.
According to their structure compounds are subdivided into:
a) compound words proper built by composition;
b) derivational compounds built by composition and suffixation. Ex., honey-mooner ←
honeymoon + er ← (honey + moon) + er;
c) derivational compounds built by composition and conversion. Ex., to daydream ← day-dream
← day +dream;
d) compounds built by composition and backderivation. Ex., to fingerprint ← fingerprinting ←
(finger + print) +ing
Ex.3. Point out compound words. Sort them into:
a) compound words proper and
b) derivational compounds
Sort the latter into:
a) cases of back formation;
b) cases of conversion;
c) cases of suffixation.
1) When Isabel entered the drawing-room, she found that some people had dropped in to tea.
2) He was short and fat and very neat, being dressed generally in pepper-and-salt trousers.
3) For some reason, when I was satisfied that the blue exercise book was not in my room, I felt
4) I suppose they’re good old stick-in-the-muds.
5) Becker was a heavy grey-haired man in his late forties.
6) “And then she’ll spring-clean the house,” said Mrs. Hecoomb.
7) A little brown-haired girl came in at the door.
8) The noise was coming through the load-speaker on the wall.
9) You shouldn’t say such things in front of the child, George, she’ll get swollen-headed.
10) Mrs. Bradly, raising her eyebrows, gave him a look which he was too quick-witted not to
11) He was a level-headed sort of fellow.
12) “Aren’t we baby-sitting?” Susan asked.
13) The most important thing was to build two small houses and to whitewash the walls.
14) He dealt not with that section of the buying public who sleep-walked their way into the
shops as willing victims.
15) Moore tip-toed round the table and touched the jar.
16) He reached the summit of the bridge and began to freewheel down the other side.
17) I can lip-read.
18) During the holidays he was a tireless cinema-goer.
According to the semantic relations between the components compounds are subdivided into:
a) endocentric, having the semantic centre within the compound;
b) exocentric, having no semantic centre.
A. Point out compound words. Classify them into endocentric (which have the semantic
centre within the compound) and exocentric (having no semantic centre).
1) Despite police attacks with tear-gas and chemicals they marched through the streets of the
2) The sun came out, a spring sun; not yet too warm in the springtime park.
3) He dipped a test-tube into a jam-jar full of water, and then looked round the room.
4) Fanny always feared bluestockings.
5) But his backbench critics remained worried and unconvinced.
6) It was reported that all the blackguards had been engaged by the new district agent.
7) Then I asked him some questions, which he took to be a form of blackmail.
8) The smoking-room was large and furnished with modern leather arm-chairs.
9) After their visit to Paris they could go to some watering-place.
B. Set off endocentric and exocentric compounds:
catchfly, eyelash, flowerbed, kill-time, killjoy, killdevil, makepeace, makebelieve, peacetime,
pickpocket, peacemaker, radio-locator, sandwich-board, thunder-storm, toothache, turnkey,
turnscrew, wage freeze, waistcoat, makeshift, picktooth.
Ex.5. Translate the following into English. Compare the structure of the English and
Russian words. Classify the English compounds.
1. зять, тесть, сплетничать, рыбак, загорелый, колокольчик (цветок), свекровь, доярка.
2. белить, винодел, широковещание, железная дорога, черноволосый, голубоглазый,
кровожадный, незабудка.
3. самопомощь, самоанализ, самолет, самовнушение, самодвижущийся, самомнение,
самообразование, самооценка, самопожертвование, самоучитель.
Ex.6. Analyze the following compounds.
forget-me-not, son-in-law, good-for-nothing, to baby-sit, fair-haired, note-book, blood-thirsty, to
front-page, Anglo-Russian, bread-and-butter, counter-clockwise, airbus, cease-fire, well-dressed,
tip-top, theatre-goer, three-cornered, throw-away, sportsman.