Phrases as bound constituents of compounds

The use of linguistic constructs with an idiosyncratic meaning when embedded in compounds is not restricted to the mono-morphemic constituents discussed in section 4.1. Phrases can be used in the same way. An example of the compound-bound use of a phrase is huis-tuin-en-keuken ‘house-garden-and-kitchen’ with the meaning ‘run of the mill, ordinary’, as in:

(43) huis-tuin-en-keuken-adverteerders ‘ordinary advertisers’ huis-tuin-en-keuken-onderwerpen ‘ordinary topics’ huis-tuin-en-keuken-chirurgie ‘ordinary surgery’ huis-tuin-en-keuken-tandarts ‘ordinary dentist’ huis-tuin-en-keuken-ongevallen ‘ordinary accidents’ huis-tuin-en-keuken-klussen ‘ordinary chores’

The use of this phrase as the modifier constituent of compounds is extremely productive. In fact, the English gloss, the phrase run of the mill, exhibits the same behaviour. Originally it meant to refer to products that come directly from the mill in an ungraded state, and may contain imperfections. Its use has been extended, and this NP functions as a modifier with the meaning ‘ordinary’. In German, the phrasal word constituent (Feld,)Wald-und-Wiesen is used for this purpose.

This way of using phrases can be accounted for by making use of constructional idioms. The phrase huis-tuin-en-keuken defines an extensive word family of compounds, and this pattern can be extended easily. In this case, the term affixoid would not be adequate for the simple reason that this constituent is complex, and even phrasal in nature.

 
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