The types and categories of Old English recursive compounding




composition, recursively, hapax legomena, dislegomena, Old English


This article deals with the recursive compounding of Old English nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs. It addresses the question of the textual occurrences of the compounds of Old English by means of a corpus analysis based on the Dictionary of Old English Corpus. The data of qualitative analysis have been retrieved from the lexical database of Old English Nerthus. The analysis shows that the nominal, adjectival and adverbial compounds of Old English can be recursive. Nominal compounding allows double recursivity, whereas adjectival and adverbial compounding do not. The conclusion is reached that both the type and token frequencies of recursive compounds are very low; and recursive compounds from the adjectival class are more exocentric as regards categorisation.


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