Studies in English Language, Literature, and Culture in a Global Environment
Edited By Richard Nordquist
Enn Veldi - Concerning the Treatment of Verb Compounds in English-Estonian Dictionaries - 137
137 Enn Veldi CONCERNING THE TREATMENT OF VERB COMPOUNDS IN ENGLISH-ESTONIAN DICTIONARIES Introduction Compounding can be defined as “a word-formation process in which two or more simple words are joined to form a new word with a single meaning” (Hartmann and James 25–26). Bauer provides a longer definition and defines a compound as “a lexical unit made up of two or more elements, each of which can function as a lexeme independent of the other(s) in other contexts, and which shows some pho- nological and/or grammatical isolation from normal syntactic usage” (Bauer 695). One possibility to classify compounds is to do it on the basis of word classes; in that case the final element determines the word class where the compound be- longs. On the basis of this criterion compounds can be divided into compound nouns (apartment building), compound adjectives (salt-free), and compound verbs (kick-start, stir-fry). Some authors discuss also compound prepositions while oth- ers reject this possibility. The present article focuses on problems related to the coverage of English compound verbs in English-Estonian and Estonian-English in bilingual dictionaries. As is known, verb compounds in English are right-headed, which means that the right-hand component serves as the head of the compound, for example, stir-fry can be interpreted as ‘to fry by stirring small pieces of food’ and crash- land means ‘to land a plane in a dangerous manner with a possibility of crashing it’. As Esko V. Pennanen put it, “the formation of compound verbs is one of...
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