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The semantics of NN combinations in Greek

Abstract/Résumé: NN combinations in Greek are multiword sequences constructed by two inflected words as in (1a-c) (1) a. arxitéktonas-arxeolóγos ‘architect-archeologist’ b. taksíδi-astrapí ‘lit. trip-lightning, very fast and sudden trip’ c. sáltsa manitárja ‘lit. sauce mushrooms, mushroom sauce’ Their constituents, which are often connected by a hyphen, either co-variate in inflection (1a, b) or not (1c). Some of them are left-headed (1b-c) while in others two heads exist (1a). In Gavriilidou (1997), Greek NN combinations were classified in three sub-classes: coordinate (1a), attributive (1b) and complementation NN combinations (1c). In this presentation, the semantics of multiword NN combinations in Greek will be explored within the framework of lexical semantic approach to compounding (Lieber 2004, 2009) which conceives of lexical semantic representations as being composed of a semantic / grammatical skeleton and a semantic /pragmatic body. More specifically, the focus here will be on the selection and interpretation mechanisms which are available for each one of the three above mentioned classes of NN combinations. I will show, in line with Scalise, Bisetto and Guevara (2005), that in coordinate NN combinations the syntactic head of a coordinate NN combination, which is situated at the left of the combination selects one (or more) non syntactic head(s) such that the LCS of them match both in the skeleton and the body. On the other hand, I will claim that in Greek attributive NN combinations selection is realized on the basis of information contained in the head’s skeleton and the non heads body. More specifically the head’s skeleton, whether it is a [=/- material] or a [=/- dynamic], must obligatorily bear the semantic feature [+scalar] (3) while the non head must contain in its body an information which is relevant to the [+scalar] character of the head. Finally, in complementation NN combinations the head selects as complement a non-head whose at least one encyclopedic feature of the body matches with at least one encyclopedic feature of the head. References Gavriilidou, Z. 1997. Etude comparée des suites NN en français et en grec. Elaboration d’un lexique bilingue. Lille: Presses Universitaires du Septentrion. Lieber, R. 2004. Morphology and lexical semantics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lieber, R. 2009. A lexical semantic approach to compounding. In R. Lieber & P. Štekauer (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Compounding, pp. 78-104. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Scalise, S., Bisetto A., & Guevara E. 2005. Selection in compounding and derivation, in W. U. Dressler, D. Kastovsky, O.E Pfeiffer & F. Rainer (eds). Morphology and its demarcation, 133-150. Amsterdam, Philadelfia: John Benjamins.