Compounding

What is Compounding? 

Compounding is the most common productive way of creating new words in English. A compound is a word that consist of two elements, the first of which is either a root, a word or a phrase, the second of which is either a root or a word (Plag, 2003). 

What are the types of Compounds?

1. Nominal Compounds

Noun-noun combinations are the most common type of compounds in English. Sometimes, the adjective-noun and verb-noun combinations occur but the grammatical function of these compounds remains as a noun.

Examples:

  • letter head
  • party pooper
  • bathrobe
  • battleship
  • bookshelf
  • laser printer
  • greybeard
  • loudmouth
  • email address
  • greenback
  • pickpocket
  • spoilsport
  • singer-songwriter
  • poet-translator
  • nature-nurture
  • mind-body
  • newspaper
  • graveyard
  • skateboard
  • snowstorm

2. Adjectival Compounds

This type of compounds are formed by combining Noun and Adjective (e.g. self-destructive, half-familiar, etc.) or Adjective and Adjective (e.g. bitter-sweet, sweet-sour, ill-furnished, etc.). 

Examples:

  • blue-eyed
  • clear-sighted
  • university-controlled
  • Washington-based
  • hair-raising
  • awe-inspiring
  • knee-deep
  • bone-dry
  • dog-tired
  • top-heavy
  • footloose
  • threadbare
  • milk-white
  • puke-green
  • donkey-brown
  • pumpkin-colored
  • dun-colored
  • sepia-toned
  • white-blossomed

3. Verbal Compounds.

Words derived from a combination of verbal (i.e. Gerund, Participles, & Infinitives) affixes such as -er, -ing, and -ed and its complement.

 Examples:

  • proof-reader
  • talent-spotter
  • ghost-writer
  • chain-smoker
  • deep-fry
  • blindfolding
  • broadcaster
  • stir-fry
  • dry-clean
  • freeze-dry
  • drink-drive
  • late-bloomer
  • strange-sounding
  • pan-fried
  • fast-acting
  • expert-tested
  • jaw-breaker

4. Neoclassical Compounds.

Words that contain multiple combining forms derived from the classical languages (i.e. Greek or Latin).

Examples:

  • biochemistry
  • biorhythm
  • photograph
  • photoinonize
  • geology
  • biology
  • biowarfare
  • biography
  • photoanalysis
  • photovoltaic
  • neurology
  • philology
  • astro-physics
  • astrology
  • biodegradable
  • biocracy
  • bibliography
  • bibliotheraphy
  • electro-cardiograph
  • electrography
  • geographic

How to Use Compounds?

Medicine 

Patients with severe kidney damage from injury, disease, or congenital conditions might need nephrectomy. (Neoclassical compound.In Greek,  nephr means kidney and  -ectomy refers to surgical incision.)

Sports 

Five-time MLC champion midfielder Mullan sullied his career with a leg-breakingtackle of Steve Zakuani.

Art & Culture

Meant to get attention, Brambilla's multilayered mosaics include three-dimensional takes on cinematic and societal excesses.

Designed by Neil Yamit