It is widely acknowledged in the literature that the common function of the modifier in nominal compounds is the classifying function. Classifying modifiers specify what kind of entity is being denoted by the head noun, that is, they specify subkinds; e.g. apple juice ‘a kind of juice made from apples’. While the classifying function can certainly be regarded as the default function of lexical modification, lexical modifiers in nominal compounds may also have functions other than classification. Drawing on functional types of noun phrase modification from the typological literature, the article discusses lexical modifiers in German nominal compounds with an attitudinal or an identifying function, and the conditions under which they arise.
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