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Root compound

MORPHOLOGY: compound whose head is not deverbal or whose non-head does not have the function of argument of the verb from which the head is derived. EXAMPLE: English compounds such as housewife, blackbird, overcoat, rattlesnake, well-formed, off-white, overlook, and so on do not have a deverbal head, and therefore can be called root compounds. A compound such as truck driver on the other hand has a deverbal head and the non-head is an argument of the embedded verb drive. The distinction between root compounds and synthetic compounds has played a major role in theoretical discussions since the late seventies. Another term for root compound is primary compound. Synthetic compound.
LIT. Fabb, N. (1984)
Lieber, R. (1983)
Roeper, T. (1988)
Roeper, T. (1987)
Roeper, T. and D. Siegel (1978)
Selkirk, E. O. (1982a)
Spencer, A. (1991)
Sproat, R. (1985)