LINGUIST List 12.2916

Wed Nov 21 2001

Qs: Coordination in Compounds, Past Imperatives

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  1. Laurie Bauer, coordination in word-formation
  2. Wolf, past imperatives

Message 1: coordination in word-formation

Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2001 11:54:56 +1300
From: Laurie Bauer <>
Subject: coordination in word-formation

Does anyone know of any study of co-ordination in word-formation?

In English, it is often possible to co-ordinate elements in compounds,
although this has been suggested as a way to distinguish between
compounds and N+N phrases (See Bauer, L. When is a sequence of two
nouns a compound in English? English Language and Linguistics 2 (1998)

postmen and -women
girl- and boy-friends

In related languages such as Dutch and German, this is certainly no problem.
In Dutch, at least, it is possible to co-ordinate with suffixes which
are of a suitable phonological structure. G. Booij & A. van Santen,
Morfologie, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 1995: 130 cite
examples such as
christen- en heidendom 'Christen- and heathen-dom'
vader- of moederschap 'father- or motherhood'
but not
*rood- of groenig 'red or greenish'.

In English it is possible to co-ordinate learned prefix-like things, as in
audio- and video-files
psycho- and socio-linguistics
but not
*phon(o)- and morphology.

It is also possible to co-ordinate certain prefixes:
pre- and post-match celebrations
but not
*over- and review.

I suspect that there are various things going on here: phonological
status, zeugma, pragmatics.... Does anyone know if this has been
looked at in any detail, or what the most relevant factors are?

Laurie Bauer
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Message 2: past imperatives

Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2001 11:35:36 +0100
From: Wolf <>
Subject: past imperatives

In a restricted set of contexts, Frisian and Dutch seem to exhibit
past imperatives. I'm wondering, whether the same holds for
English. If anyone accepts at least one of the sentences below, I'd be
obliged to receive his native judgements.

(1) That day our teacher started showing us old railway stations on
the map. (you) Better paid attention, for that was usually followed by
a test.

(2) When such clouds appeared in the sky, (you) better were careful,
because that indicated a thunderstorm.

(3) Were a good sport!

(4) Did be a good sport!

- ---------------------------------------------------------
Henk Wolf (Fryske Akademy) (Fryske Rie) (privee)
Fryske Akademy, Postbus 54, NL-8900 AB Ljouwert
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