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date: 26 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Compound word formation is examined from the twin perspectives of comparative grammar and child language acquisition. Points of cross-linguistic variation addressed include the availability of bare-stem endocentric compounding as a “creative” process, head modifier order, the distribution of linking elements in Swedish and German compounds, the possibility of recursion, and the availability of synthetic compounding of the -ER (English dish washer) and bare-stem (French lave-vaisselle) types. Proposals discussed at length include Beard’s Generalization (which links head modifier order in compounds to the position of attributive adjectives), Snyder’s Compounding Parameter (linking syntactic availability of verb-particle constructions and adjectival resultatives to availability of creative endocentric compounding), and Gordon’s acquisitional studies of Kiparsky’s Generalization (concerning restrictions on regular plural-marking within compounds).

Keywords: compound word, endocentric compound, exocentric compound, synthetic compound, recursion, head modifier order, language acquisition, comparative grammar, Principles and Parameters, Compounding Parameter

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