The English language is considered one of the harder languages to learn later in life due to the structure of words and the usage of compounding terms. Based on our association with the English language, this exploration of the phenomenon of compounding plays a part in adding to the lexical library stored in our brain. …
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By deriving the basic components in a language it would seem illogical to assume that the compounding phenomenon of words, phrases and sentences is either entirely morphological or entirely syntactical. By exploring in detail the various components involved in compounding, the differences between morphological adaption and syntactical adaption may become apparent. Also a discussion is needed regarding if both kinds of compounding can exist independently of each other. With any language there are rules and exceptions to rules, which will assist in speaking about the compounding phenomena.
1.0 Types of Compounds in the English language
The English language is an analytical language and although originating from a Germanic base, the modern evolution differs from Germanic languages. The English language is known to have evolved from the Germanic influence of the settlers in the United Kingdom. However we have evidence that the language has evolved beyond its source in many ways. The main difference between the languages being that German is a stem based language and therefore we can assume that this influence is also seen in the compounding Phenomenon of the language. Although derived from or influenced by German, English also took its influences from Latin and Greek and has developed into a word-based language. We can therefore to an extent assume that this strong influence of words is also seen in its compounding. While English is not the only language that uses compounding words, for this analysis, English will be the primarily language studied. Compounding words can be traced to the archaic language of Sanskrit by ancient rules typically followed. The aspect of putting together or combining with respect to language is related to “Sankhara” in Sanskrit, which can be seen as the basis of some grammar rules. A compound for this study is a word that is a combination of two or more free standing words. For the sake of convenience we will take the dominant feature of compounding two words. To understand compounding further, a brief look at the four semantic classifications for compounds: * Endocentric Compounds: Laurie Bauer in her publication “English Exocentric Compounds” explains endocentric compounds are words that have one of its elements as the head of the construction. (Bauer, n.d:1) The example that she uses is “Traffic light” where the word light is the head of the compound and the word traffic is endocentric or tells us what kind of light is being spoken about. (Bauer, n.d:1) This type of compounding is believed to have originated from the Sanskrit word “tatpurusa”. Tatpurusa means they are dependent determinative compounds. According to Bauer and other academics,
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