Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Compound Words-A Cognitive Linguistic Study

Version 1 : Received: 25 August 2020 / Approved: 27 August 2020 / Online: 27 August 2020 (08:42:16 CEST)

How to cite: Kilambi, P. Compound Words-A Cognitive Linguistic Study. Preprints 2020, 2020080601. Kilambi, P. Compound Words-A Cognitive Linguistic Study. Preprints 2020, 2020080601.


This study attempts to classify compound words on the basis of Cognitive Linguistics and compares their usage trends using Computational Linguistics. Using Noam Chomsky’s concept of deep and surface structures of a sentence, Lees treated compound words, not as separate units but as a kind of embedded sentences and hinted for possible presence of deep and surface structures in compound words, which this study tries to investigate. Then on the basis of the Idealized Cognitive Model proposed by Lakoff and Fauconnier, compound words have been classified into transparent, opaque and counterintuitive compound words. Using Google Books Corpus, this study also compares their usage trends. This is done using usage frequency, defined in this work, which is analogous to productivity for affixed words calculated by G.E.Booij. Each class of compound word formed on the basis of ICM is found to have different usage frequency. The possible reasons for this are discussed.


deep structure and surface structure; Idealized Cognitive Model (ICM); Transformational Generative Grammar (TGG); counterintuitive compound words; usage frequency


Social Sciences, Language and Linguistics

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