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The Status and Development of N+N Sequences in Contemporary English Noun Phrases

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Iria Pastor Gomez

This volume aims to carry out a comprehensive analysis of those nouns within the structure of the noun phrase which are referred to as N+N sequences (e.g. drug addiction, computer cluster). They are studied from three perspectives, namely their status as syntactic constructs, their evolution as becoming morphological items through a process of lexicalisation – whereby they gradually acquire properties of a semantic, morphological, orthographic and phonological nature –, and their use in which several variables such as speech community, mode and textual category are in operation. Additionally, this volume touches upon the problems in establishing clear-cut boundaries between morphology and syntax in order to define their status and evolution. A comprehensive corpus analysis rounds off the study.

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Acknowledgements - 7

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Acknowledgements First and foremost I would like to express my gratitude to Teresa Fanego and Carlos Acuña for their constant support during the prepa- ration of this volume. They have undoubtedly facilitated my research in a number of ways contributing with explicit and highly valuable input. This could not have been possible without their help, which I gratefully acknowledge here. I would like to thank Francisco Gutiérrez Díez, Carmen Portero Muñoz, Paloma Núñez Pertejo, Ana Martínez Insua and Paula López Rúa for their feedback in earlier versions of this work. This volume could have not been done without the support of the research unit Variation, Linguistic Change and Grammaticaliza- tion, funded by the Spanish Ministry for Science and Innovation (grant no. HUM2007-60706 (CONSOLIDER)), the Autonomous Govern- ment of Galicia (grants no. INCITE 08PXIB204016PR; 2008-047) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). I also wish to show my thanks to my family and friends and especially my parents, Ana and Vicente, to whom I dedicate this book; without them nothing in my world would be as it is. Finally, to Laurent, because without his support, strength and contagious constancy this would not have been possible at all. It goes without saying that, in spite of the contribution of those I have just mentioned to the execution, development and conclusion of this volume, any errors or inaccuracies that remain in my work are exclusively my own responsibility. 8

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