The Role of Syntax and Morphology in Compounding

Peter Ackema, Ad Neeleman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Abstract / Description of output

We argue that, although syntax is not directly involved in the formation of
compounds themselves, competition between the syntactic and morphological modules of
grammar (Ackema and Neeleman 2001, 2004) has a decisive influence on compounding.
This is because this type of competition has the effect that certain, grammatically possible,
compounds will not surface in a language. This is why synthetic compounds can be based on
root compounds that do not themselves surface. We argue that, if the morphology of a
language really does not allow for the relevant type of root compound to be formed, then the
associated synthetic compounds are ruled out just as well. The fate of synthetic compounds
during the development of Saramaccan (and some other creole languages) is shown to
provide clear evidence for this hypothesis.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCross-Disciplinary Issues in Compounding
EditorsSergio Scalise, Irene Vogel
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherJohn Benjamins
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)978 90 272 4827 5
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Publication series

NameCurrent Issues in Linguistic Theory


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