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Compounded compounds.

From:Eldin Raigmore <eldin_raigmore@...>
Date:Thursday, June 28, 2007, 22:42
Are there many languages with many compound words one of whose
constituents is already, itself, a compound word?

It seems to me the answer would be "yes".

What are some of those languages?

It seems to me one of the answers would be "English".

How common is that phenomenon?

Is it common enough that several of these languages have fairly-well-worked-
out ways to disambiguate, if some such compounds could be ambiguous?

I suspect the answer is "yes"; but I don't have a clue nor a guess about the
next question:

What are some of those ways?


More questions I don't "know" the answers to (actually I didn't know the
answers to the preceding questions either; just for most of them I had a guess
or a feeling.):

Are there, in natlangs, examples of compound words of which _both_
constituents are already, themselves, compounds?

Are there any third-level compounds?  That is, compound words, one of whose
constituents is a compound word, one of whose constituents is a compound


I hazard that, if either of the above phenomena occur at all, they are probably
rare; rare enough, that, even in the languages in which they occur, there's no
well-worked-out system to disambiguate them; speakers just have to
memorize the disambiguation on a case-by-case basis.


Who on the list actually knows the answers?  What are the answers?



Kelly Drinkwater <mizunomi@...>
Dirk Elzinga <dirk.elzinga@...>
Benct Philip Jonsson <conlang@...>