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Comparison between English and Turkish compounds

English and Turkish are different morphological types, but do they have the same compound structure?

Seminar Paper 2015 13 Pages

English Language and Literature Studies - Linguistics

Excerpt

Table of content:

1 Introduction

2 Compounds in general
2.1 What is compounding?
2.2 Stress
2.3 Types of compounds

3 Structure of English Compounds
3.1 Nominal compounds
3.2 Adjective compounds
3.3 Verbal compounds

4 Structure of Turkish compounds
4.1 Nominal compounds
4.2 Adjective compounds
4.3 Verbal compounds

5 Differences and Similarities

6 Conclusion

Works cited

1 Introduction

With the help of word formation processes we form new words and there are many different processes that lead to many different new words. Compounding is a morphological operation where two or more free morphemes create one complex morpheme. Compounds are very important because they can prevent ambiguity if you just take a closer look at them and there are probably no languages without compounding. Every language is in need of compounded words because of the new inventions and changes in our society everyday. One of the most important and often used word formation processes is compounding. This term paper presents a general overview of the structure of compounds in English and Turkish. Because my mother language is Turkish and I study English, I was really interested in the differences between the English and Turkish language. English is an analytic language and Turkish an agglutinating language therefore it makes it more interesting to analyze.

This term paper will give an overviewof compounds in general, about the stress and the types of compounds. Furthermore, to take a closer look at the languages comes the differentiation of nominal compounds, adjective compounds and verbal compounds in English and Turkish. The final point isthe analysis of the differences and similarities of English and Turkish compounds.

2 Compounds in general

2.1 What is compounding?

Compounding is a word-formation process where two or more free morphemes create one complex morpheme. Compounds can be written as one word, as two separate words or as two hyphenated words. This complex morpheme is called a compound, examples for compounds would be: daylight, wallpaper, boyfriend, etc. The typical English compound would be a noun consisting of two nouns and the first noun modifies the second(Kortmann 2014: 99). These compounds are called “endocentric compounds”. There are different compounds for example nominal compounds but also nominal compounds, which do not consist of two nouns. In compounds consisting of free morphemes of different word classes, usually the last free morpheme determines the word class of the compound. Except for nominal compounds there are also adjective and verbal compounds but the majority of verbal compounds have been formed by back-formation and should rather be called “pseudo-compounds” (Kortmann 2014: 100).

2.2 Stress

The best way to find out if a word is a compound or not is by looking how the word is stressed. Compounds in English are often stressed on their first or left-hand base and phrases are typically stressed on the right for example, blackbird that is a specific type of bird compared to a black bird that is a bird that hasthe color black. But it is not always the case that compounds are stressed on the left. There is one test to identify if a word is a compound or not by seeing if a modifying word can be inserted between the two bases without loosing sense. The sequence of two words is a compound when you cannot insert a modifying word (Lieber 2009: 43). In Turkish the compounds are stressed on the stressable syllable of the non-head, this is normally the final syllable of the first element. Just a few compounds are stressed on the constituent on the right (Göksel and Haznedar: 3).

2.3 Types of compounds

There are a many different ways to classify compounds. When it comes to the types of compounds the head of the compound needs to be introduced. “The head is the element that serves to determine both the part of speech and the semantic kind denoted by the compound as a whole” (Lieber 2009: 46).In English it is always the second base that determines the part of speech of compounds. The semantic category is also determined by the second base. Therefore English compounds are mostly right-headed and Turkish compounds for example are also mostly right-headed (Lieber 2009:46). Linguists differentiate between the “head” and the “non-head”. The head of a compound normally carries the grammatical information and most of the semantic meaning. Also it is very important for the word class, because the word class of the head is also the word class of the compound. The “non-head” is mostly the left-hand element and contributes less to the meaning of the compound because it does not carry any grammatical information (Liese 2009: 2).Compounds can also be divided into endocentric and exocentric compounds. Endocentric compounds consist of a head and it represents the core meaning of the constituent and is of the same word class. For example: “darkroom” where dark is the modifier and room the head.A compound is exocentric when the referent of the compound as a whole is not the referent of the head.For example: “skinhead” where you mean the person behind the term. Endocentric and exocentric compounds also have three different types and these are attributive, coordinative and subordinative as you can see summarized in figure 1(Lieber 2009: 48).

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Figure 1: Types of compounds (Lieber 2009: 49)

In attributive compounds the non-head acts as a modifier of the head so the first word might express any relationship with the head. For example a windmill is a mill that is activated by the wind or a notebook is a book you write notes in. As long as the first element modifies the second one, there is a semantic relationship between two elements. However, in coordinative compounds it is not like in attributive that the first element modifies the second, here you have two equal elements. For example a producer-director, this is someone who is equally a producer and a director. Finally, there are the subordinative compounds where one element is interpreted as the argument of the other, usually as its object. For example “truck driver, meal preparation or lion tamer” (Lieber 2009:47).

3 Structure of English Compounds

3.1 Nominal compounds

Nominal compounds are nouns that are formed by two or more nouns. There are different ways to formnominal compounds, for example noun + noun formation(1):

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Except for noun + noun compounds there are also verb + nouncompounds (2):

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Lastly, compounds which are formed by the combination of adjective + noun (3):

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(personal knowledge)

3.2 Adjective compounds

Adjective compounds are adjectives that contain two or more words. Often there is a hyphen between the terms to avoid ambiguity. You can form adjective compounds by connecting noun + adjective (4):

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Adjective + adjective compounds are often hyphenated (5):

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Lastly, there are adjective compounds that are formed by adjective + verb (6):

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3.3 Verbal compounds

Verbal compounds are very rare in the English language and also have different structures and you can form them for example by connecting noun + verb (7):

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You can also form verbal compounds by connecting two verbs with each other, a verb + verb formation (8):

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4 Structure of Turkish compounds

4.1 Nominal compounds

The first type of nominal compounds is the pairing of two nouns and a linking element and this is also the most common formation in Turkish (9):

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The noun + noun compounds are also very common without a linking element (10):

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Adjective + noun formationsare also a very productive type of compounding (11):

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4.2 Adjective compounds

Adjective compounds in the Turkish language are not so common, you can create them by connecting nouns and adjectives (12):

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Compounds, which consist of adjective and adjective, are very rare and also form adverbs (13):

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4.3 Verbal compounds

Finally, you can also form compounds by connecting two verbs with each other (14):

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(Göksel and Haznedar: 2)

5 Differences and Similarities

The main difference between the English and Turkish language is that English is an analytic and Turkish an agglutinating language. Analytic languages have a poor inflectional system, few word forms for every lexeme, a fixed word order and subject-object-marking by means of word order. Whereas agglutinating languages are subtypes of synthetic languages andhave a rich inflectional system, many word forms for each lexeme, free word order and subject-object marking by means of inflection (personal knowledge). Concerning stress English and Turkish have similarities. The compounds in Turkish are usually stressed on the final syllable of the first element (15)(Göksel and Haznedar: 3):

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Details

Pages
13
Year
2015
ISBN (eBook)
9783668286115
ISBN (Book)
9783668286122
File size
475 KB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v338940
Grade
1,0
Tags
Morphology Compounding English Turkish Comparison Linguistics Structure differences

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Title: Comparison between English and Turkish compounds