Complex words in complex words

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

Constituents of complex words can themselves be complex words. Some
kinds of complex constituents appear more often than others. This study
presents a quantitative investigation of this phenomenon. We show that
many kinds of base words are significantly overrepresented or underrepresented.
This holds not only for constituents of derived words, but also for
constituents of compounds. We furthermore show that the degree of overrepresentation
or underrepresentation correlates with word frequency, word
length, and degree of productivity. We offer a functional explanation of
this correlation in terms of processing and storage in the mental lexicon.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)905-926
Number of pages21
JournalLinguistics
Volume37
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1999