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Title: Word grammar and the semantics of compound nouns
Author: Taylor, Maureen Deirdre
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1987
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This investigation is a mentalistic inquiry into the study of semantic structure for compound nouns in English. The phenomenon of compounding entails competence in both semantic and pragmatic aspects of knowledge. These two aspects of language are generally described by separate grammatical models with the result that traditional analyses have been unable to provide a descriptively adequate account of the meanings of English compound nouns. This inquiry adopts the grammatical model of Word Grammar which incorporates a systematic representation of grammatical competence within a model of performance. The underlying hypothesis of this model is that all prepositional content of language is organised in relation to the word. Therefore, no unit larger than the word itself is required to describe the production and comprehension of compound constituency. The inclusion of pragmatic competence into the framework introduces an indeterminate feature in terms of experiential knowledge but this is offset by knowledge of the word as a common denominator with which all knowledge is projected. It is shown that Word Grammar's mentalistic framework provides an observationally adequate description of speaker competence for the meanings of compound nouns and an alternative approach that offers a credible description of the interrelation between semantic and pragmatic knowledge exploited in the comprehension of compound noun meaning.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral