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Auteur: Dosya DUBRAVSKA

The Phenomenon of English Composites

Abstract/Résumé: Existing composites have a tendency to create new others: independent composites ladylike (49) and Grammar School (571) can serve as components of a new composite: ladylike grammar school (1). _______________________________________________________ -*figures denote general frequency of composites usage in BNC Distributional analysis of the composites in BNC made it possible to reveal some limitations in reference to discrete units of English composites. Thus, the main ways of spelling are as follows: - solid compounds: basketball (207)); - separate words: coffee table (143); - hyphenated words: man-made (73). It is obvious that while analyzing the composites we can’t rely only on the characteristics that concern their graphical representation, since some of the composites have a few ways of spelling. Some more examples for improving this conception: • loudspeaker (133): Note also that an 8 ohm loudspeaker is needed. loud speaker (6): Just then this voice comes over the loud speaker. loud-speaker : Rechargeable Mini loud-speaker for iPhone… (Internet) Apparently a lack of the systematic rules for formation of the English composites represents one of the possible reasons for their complicated spelling. There is an assumption that the spelling of the composites depends on the preferences and imagination of the people who use or record the composite. Semantic unity of composites often is sufficiently firm. In such a case we deal with idiomatic composites the whole meaning of which isn’t the grand total of their separate component’s meanings. There are subtle specific semantic links between them, for instance: • handful (a quantity that fills the hand:) (1352). • shorthand (a method of rapid writing by means of abbreviations and symbols, used esp. for taking dictation.) (312). • skinhead (a young person with close-cropped hair, often perceived as aggressive, violent, and racist, and having neo-Nazi tendencies) (172). At the same time unidiomatic composite is not stable therefore its meaning often can be derived from its components: • aircraft (an aeroplane, helicopter, or other machine capable of flight) (6172). Thus, in order to understand a great amount of the composites means to logically analyze them. Undoubtedly the further analysis of subtle differences in the inner structure of composites and the determination of their semantic relations are needed. 1. Bauer L. (2001) Compounding. In Martin Haspelmath, Ekkehard König, Wulf Oesterreicher &Wolfgang Raible (eds.), Language Universals and Language Typology. (pp. 695-707). Berlin and New York: de Gruyter. 2. Marchand H. (1974) The Categories and Types of Present Day English Word Formation. 2nd ed., ( 379 p ). Munich: Beck