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Composition


By way of composition compound words formed. Any compound word have characteristic features. Main is structural cohesion (сплоченность). It’s expressed by co-join writing of it’s components as well as writing the words with hyphen. There are some criteria to define structural cohesion:

1) Graphical criteria. Graphically compound orthographic word and it no spelled as two different words with a hyphen. But spelling does not provide an accurate guide to differentiate between compound and word groups because many are written as word combination with a space (F.e.: loud speaker, post office, frizzing point). There are few hard fast rules connecting spelling. Compound words similar in meaning may be spelled different in different dictionary. There is no stability in spelling belonging same type words: textbook – story-book – reference book. Semantic relation in all the three cases is similar, but spelling cohesion is different. Solid spelling of compound words is characteristic of American English. So graphic criteria is not always helpful to determine a structural cohesion of compound words.

2) Phonetic criteria. For many compound words the uniformity criteria may be stress. Many compounds a fore stressed. No matter they a written as one word, two different words of a hyphen. F.e.: còpy-book, fòotball (first syllable stressed). However stress in compound words depends in many cases on the possibility of a word to combine with other words and juxtaposition(сопоставление) them. F.e. if there is a juxtaposition like inkpot – teapot, so in both words syllable stressed. Next bathroom – classroom. There is unique word mankind which have 2 stresses. If we change to womankind, the second syllable is stressed, there is not juxtaposition, kind meaning человечество. The combine stress may not always be same. It may be strong and then the second element in a word will change it’s pronunciation because a vowel in it is reduced. F.e. Sunday (дэй, санди). Combine stress may be week and when the pronunciation of the second component is present (birthday). There may be cases then two components in compound word are stressed. F.e. guess love.
Compound adjectives usually have 2 stresses. For example: Good-looking, kind hearted. In many compound words a stress may be unstable and depends on syntactic function of word. In word short-lift only stress on the one syllable only then they are attributes.
Sometimes a stress is used to differentiate meanings within a compound word. Example: òverwork (сверхурочная работа), òverwòrk (переутомление).



3) Semantic criteria. Semantic aspect of compound words deals with the correlation of separate meanings of the constituent parts and the action meaning of the compound itself. Can the meaning of compound words be regarded as the sum of it’s constituent meanings:

a. Classroom, bedroom, dining room, reading room. This group seems to represent compound words these meanings described by compounds. Yet this words there are slide shift of meanings. The first component of this words taken free form denotes action or state of whatever it’s characterized by words. So sleeping car is not a car which sleep and so on.
The shift of meaning more pronounced in second group.

b. Blackbird, lady-killer (сердцеед), pickpocket (карманник), lazybones (лентяй). In these compound words compounds has changed it’s meaning. All these compounds meaning can not be defined as the some of constituent meanings.

c. The process of deducing the meaning of the hole word from constituents is impossible. For example: lady bird (божья коровка), bluebottle (василек), marry-go-round (карусель), mother-of-pole (перламутровый), man-of-war (военный корабль), butter-finger (растяпа), war-flowers (girls who not invited to dance at a party).

The compound words of 3-rd group are called idiomatic because they meaning does not correspond to separate meanings of constituents.
Semantic criteria helps to distinguish a compound words and combination of words, but again it does not help to determine structural cohesion.

4) Morphological criteria. Compounds make up one inseparable unit with a strict order of components and a new or single paradigm. For example: rich, richen, the richest; oil rich, more oil rich etc.
elements in compound words cannot be reordered because additional items cannot be inserted between them. However this criteria again is not always strict because these one thing which united compound: ‘s’, for example forget-me-nots.
These criteria does not work in noun + noun compounds. For example paper-basket and similar structures with attributive noun (stone wall). In both cases the order of components is not so strict.

5) Structural criteria. In some cases to distinguish a compound words in a word combination may be structural cohesion.

None of these criteria’s help us prove structural cohesion.

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