Linguistics in Göttingen - A platform for empirical and theoretical linguistics

Artemis Alexiadou (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin): Some puzzles about compounding

At first sight, deverbal compounds, (1), do not seem to be so different from the corresponding Argument Supporting Nominals (ASNs), (2).

(1) a. truck driving
b. truck driver
c. document transmission (Borer 2013: 576)

(2) a. the driving of the truck
b. the driver of the truck
c. the transmission of the documents
(Borer 2013: 576)

In view of this similarity, the question is whether these two are related. More specifically, are there special compound building rules, or can they be accounted for under other rules of the type that are involved in nominalization? How can compounds that are formed out of a derived nominal and what looks like an argument be integrated in a morpho-syntactic model of ASNs, as the two do differ in important respects?

To approach these questions, I will discuss English and Greek deverbal compounds. Greek is particularly interesting as it has both synthetic and analytic deverbal compounds. Analytic compounds in Greek are very hard to keep apart from ASNs , unlike English and Greek synthetic compounds, thus raising the question whether analytic compounds exist or not.