Volume 9, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1876-1933
  • E-ISSN: 1876-1941
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This paper is concerned with the classification and analysis of different types of German synthetic compounds headed by deverbal agent nouns in , such as ‘novel-reader’ or ‘mind-reader’, where the non-head is seen to saturate an argument of the head lexeme while adhering to the semantic interpretation found in corresponding VPs (e.g. the distinct senses of in the previous examples). In contrast to several previous approaches, which attempt to explain the relationship between VPs and compounds using a unified mechanism of incorporation or derivation, we argue that different compounding patterns require different analyses and that the respective constructions are to some extent independent of each other. While some compounds are modelled after frequent, familiar VPs and take account of the usage profile of syntactic phrases, other productive sets of compounds extend independently lexicalized schemas with fixed compound heads. To support our analysis we undertake the largest empirical survey of these formations to date, using a broad coverage Web corpus. We suggest several categories of verb-object lexeme pairs to account for our data and formulate an analysis of the facts within the framework of Construction Morphology.


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