Root and semi-phrasal compounds: A syntactic approach

Dimitrios Ntelitheos, Katya Pertsova


We present a syntactic account of the derivation of two types of attributivenominal compounds in Spanish, Russian and Greek. These include right-headed “root” compounds, which exhibit more “word”-like properties and single stress domains, and left-headed “semi-phrasal” compounds with more phrasal properties and independent stress domains for the two compound members. We propose that both compound structures are formed on a small clause predicate phrase, with their different properties derived from the merger of the predicate member of the small clause as a root or as a larger nominal unit with additional functional projections. The proposed structures provide an explanation of observed lexical integrity effects, as well as specific predictions of patterns of compound formation crosslinguistically.


morpho-syntax; compounds; Distributed Morphology; lexical integrity; predicate inversion; small clauses

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Copyright (c) 2019 Dimitrios Ntelitheos, Katya Pertsova

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