•Compounding or word-composition is one of
the productive types of word-formation in
Modern English. Compound words (or
compounds) are defined as indivisible lexical
units made up of at least two elements which
are both derivational bases:
•week-end, sugar-basin, snowdrift, tea-pot,
fountain-pen, sunset etc.t etc.
•Structurally compound words are characterized
by the specific order and arrangement of
derivational bases. In Modern English the order
of the derivational bases is rigidly fixed. As a
rule the second element of a compound word
makes its structural and semantic center, this
fact is proved by the existence of compound
words with identical constituent elements
which differ in their meanings due to the
different arrangement of the derivational bases.
•Positional changes of constituent derivational
bases within a compound word result in change of
meaning. Compare the following pairs of
compound words:
pond-fish - прудовая рыба
fish-pond - рыбоводный пруд
flower-garden – цветник
garden-flower - садовый цветок
life-boat -a boat for saving lives from wrecks or
along the coast
boat-life - life on board the ship
The bases built on stems may be of different degrees of complexity:
•simple: film-star
•derived: chain-smoker
•compound: wastepaper-basket
Another aspect of compound words which needs special attention is the
problem of their classification. English compounds may be classified
according to several principles:
From the point of view of degree of semantic independence of their
constituents compound words fall into two large classes:
coordinative compounds (the constituent elements are equally important):
oak-tree, boy-friend, Anglo-American, woman-doctor
subordinative compounds (the components are neither structurally nor
semantically equal in importance but are based on the domination of the
head-member which is, as a rule, the second element of the word):
dark-blue, wrist-watch, road-building, baby-sitter etc.
Coordinative compounds in their turn are further subdivided into several types:
 reduplicative, the words made up by the repetition of the same derivational
goody-goody (ханжеский, ханжа), fifty-fifty (равный), hush-hush (тайный)
 Compounds, formed by joining phonetically variated twin bases. Such
words often possess certain emotional or stylistic colouring:
hodge-podge (derogatory) - odds and ends, their mixture
namby-pamby (ironical) - sentimental, sensitive
wing-ding (American jargon) - a fit of rage, ado, quarrel, row
fiddle-faddle (colloquial) - nonsense, small talk, chatter
fuddy-duddy (colloquial) - a fussy and old-fashioned person
 Coordinative compounds, built on stems of words of the same part of
speech. They usually denote a person or an object that is two things at the
same time:
a secretary-stenographer, a woman-doctor, a bed-sitting-room
2. Compound words may be also classified according to their part-ofspeech meaning:
C nouns : toothbrush, car park, soap opera
C adjectives: eco-friendly, fat-free (yoghurt)
C verbs: daydream, dry-clean
C adverbs: nevertheless, nowadays
C pronouns: anyone, everything, nobody
C numerals: twenty-seven, three-quarters
C prepositions: into, onto
C conjuctions: although, however
3. According to the means of composition compounds may be:
 words, formed by joining together two stems without any connecting
ball-point, to windowshop
 words, where components are joined by a linking element : vowels
«o» or «i» or the consonant «s»
astrospace, handicraft, sportsman
 words, formed by help of prepositions and conjunctions:
here-and-now, free-for-all, do-or-die
4. According to the type of basis that form compounds the following
classes can be singled out:
Compounds that are formed by joining together bases built on the
stems or on the affixes with or without a linking element
job-hunt, train-sick, go-go, tip-top
Derivational compounds that are formed by joining affixes to the
bases built on the word-groups or by converting the bases built on the
word groups into other part of speech:
ear-minded, hydro-skimmer
Thus derivational compounds may be:
formed by the help of the suffixes:
broad-shouldered, early-riser
 by conversion:
a break-down (развал, разруха, упадок) - from “to break down”
a kill-joy (брюзга) - from “to kill joy”
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