Compounds in early Greek first language acquisition – including an onomasiological approach to lexical typology of Greek and German

  • The early acquisition of Greek compounds by two monolingual Greek girls aged between 1;8 and 3;0 years is studied in a usage-based theoretical framework. Special importance is attached to the morphological structure of Greek compound types occurring in child speech and child-directed speech. Greek nominal compound formation does not consist in the mere juxtaposition of words or roots, but involves stems as well as a compound marker. Major questions addressed are the transparency of compounds and productive nominal compound formation. Evidence for productivity of nominal compound formation has been found with only one of the two girls. In contrast to other languages, neoclassical nominal compounds by far exceed endocentric subordinative ones tokenwise in Greek child speech and child-directed speech providing evidence of entrenchment rather than productivity. In a cross-linguistic comparison it is shown that, in spite of the fact that both Standard Modern Greek and German are rich in nominal compounds, their number is much more limited in Greek than in German child speech. An explanation for this apparent paradox is provided by an onomasiological approach to lexical typology based on a sample list of nominal compounds occurring in German child language and their Greek translational equivalents. It has been found that while use of nominal compounds is common in colloquial German including child-centered situations, it is more typical of Greek formal than colloquial registers.

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Author:Ursula Stephany, Evangelia Thomadaki
Parent Title (German):Institut für Linguistik (Köln). Abteilung Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft: Arbeitspapier ; N.F., Nr. 60
Series (Serial Number):Arbeitspapier / Institut für Sprachwissenschaft, Universität Köln (N.F. 60)
Publisher:Institut für Linguistik, Abteilung Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft
Place of publication:Köln
Document Type:Working Paper
Date of Publication (online):2016/07/21
Year of first Publication:2016
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2016/07/21
Tag:Greek child speech; Greek child-directed speech; Greek language acquisition; compounding
Page Number:81
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 40 Sprache / 400 Sprache
4 Sprache / 41 Linguistik / 410 Linguistik
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht