Nominal compositum

Nominal compositum

Nominal compositum or nominal composition is the process of putting two or more words together to form another word, although the new word does not necessarily have the same meaning. The new word is a compound word.

The process occurs readily in North Germanic languages for different reasons. Words can be concatenated both to mean the same as the sum of two words (such as pressekonferenzen - German for press conference) or where an adjective and noun are compounded (e.g. hvidvinglas - Danish for white wine glass).

Further examples:

  • German: startbahn - runway from start and track
  • Danish: sygelighedsprocent - sickness rate [lit: sickness per cent]
  • Swedish: snowbordstjärna - star snowboarder [lit: snowboard star]
  • Norwegian: skapdør - closet door

There are several examples in the English language of nominal composition. Examples include:

  • tomorrow - from Olde English to morrow
  • fingermark - which means exactly the same as finger mark

The addition of affix morphemes to words (such as suffixes or prefixes, as in employ -> employment) should not be confused with nominal composition.

See also

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