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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton April 24, 2008

Compound constructions: A reply to Bundgaard et al.

  • Anders Søgaard
From the journal


In an article recently published in this journal, Bundgaard et al. present a series of arguments against non-compositional theories of (noun-noun) compound semantics. In consequence, they present a compositional alternative, where compositionality is relativized a bit to also take constructional semantics into account. I am fully convinced this is the right way to go about it, but unfortunately, the authors remain unclear about the exact nature of linguistic constructions. In particular, they analyze in my view, certain constructional e¤ects in terms of conceptual schemas. This article presents cross-linguistic data (redundant compounds, stress patterns, linking elements and ungrammaticality phenomena) that support a multiconstructional view, where constructions replace the most abstract conceptual schemas. On the one hand, it provides strong evidence in favor of a compositional theory of compound semantics, and thus supports the theoretical claims of Bundgaard et al.; but on the other hand, it calls for a new, clearer distinction between constructions and conceptual schemas.

Published Online: 2008-04-24
Published in Print: 2008-April

© 2008 by Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, D-10785 Berlin

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