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Constituents: Dependent constituents

On the morphosyntactic level, compounds are distinguished in terms of the morphosyntactic (categorial) nature of the constituents, i.e. whether it is a dependent constituent, or an independent constituent (discussed here). An independent constituent (i.e. independent morpheme) is an element in a compound that can be used autonomously, without requiring other morphemes for its formal or semantic realisation. These include different types of stems (like nouns, adjectives, etc.), reduced stems (like abbreviations and acronyms), complex words (like affixed words, and compounds), and multi-word units (phrasal names and phrases), with affixoids as a special kind of independent constituent (described here). A dependent constituent (i.e. dependent morpheme) is an element that only occurs in a compound, requiring other independent morphemes for its formal or semantic realisation.These include confixes (like kardio- and -logie in kardio+logie cardiology), cranberry morphs (like aam- in aam+beeld anvil), and splinters (like -gate in Nkandla·gate scandal related to Nkandla).

Depending on the kind of morphosyntactic constituent, compounds can be categorised as one of four types; the first three will be discussed here, while the last one will be discussed below.

  • Ground compound
  • Phrasal compound
  • Verbal-nexus compound
  • (Neo-)classical compound

{UNDER CONSTRUCTION} The last type will be discussed here in detail in a future update of this topic.