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Syntactic Movement and Locative Incorporation in Exocentric Compounds

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  1. Introduction
  2. Previous exocentric data
  3. A syntactic exocentric compound analysis
  4. A syntactic noun-noun exocentric analysis
  5. References

Most people will agree that there are two main types of compound words, endocentric and exocentric. Endocentric compounds are those where the rightmost constituent, called the grammatical head, is what defines the category of speech and the semantic interpretation of the word. Exocentric compounds are generally believed to not be definable by either constituent and are therefore said to be headless.

[...] A Syntactic Exocentric Compound Analysis Sarah Murray (2002) compares the form of scarecrow to that of an agentive compound like truckdriver with the main difference being that the agentive is null in scarecrow and scarecrow does not exhibit syntactic movement as does truckdriver. The initial comparison follows. The compound truckdriver originates as shown but then goes through movement, first by truck moving to the front of drive and then by truck drive moving to the front of the agentive resulting in a compound with the head driver so that a truckdriver is a type of driver. [...]

[...] To be sure, syntactic movement and locative incorporation have played an important role in the above analyses and have the potential to play a very important role in future analyses. References Adams, Valerie (1973). An Introduction to Modern English Word Formation. London: Longman Group Limited Bauer, Laurie (1983). English Word Formation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Benczes, Reka (n.d.). Blending, Metaphor and Metonymy in Exocentric Compounds. Electronicdocument,, accessed February Fromkin, Victoria A., ed. (2000). Linguistics [...]

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