chapter  6
12 Pages

Noun compounds

A noun compound has a final element which is nominal, modified by one or more elements which in independent use may be nominal, adjectival or verbal. We begin by identifying five patterns, exemplified by bicycle-repairing (noun + deverbal noun), refugee camp (noun + noun), potter's wheel (noungenitive s + noun), greenhouse (adjective + noun), and spoonbill (exocentric). All these sequences, except the last, prompt questions about their status as words.