[Corpora-List] word formation patterns

krausse krausse at fh-nordhausen.de
Wed Mar 2 12:17:01 CET 2005

Dear List Members,

Looking for particular word-formation patterns in my domain-specific
corpus of Environmental Engineering English I came across nouns like
biodegradables, recyclables, floatables, durables, deliverables and
refillables which triggered my interest in the origin of such forms. A
closer look at the linguistic context of the corresponding adjectives
with the help of a concordance revealed that they often make up a
collocation with certain nouns like (non-)durable goods, refillable
bottles/containers and recylable waste/materials. This seems to be a
hint that the second element of a compound/collocation has been left out
and the first element, the adjective has taken on a noun status which is
documented by its pluralized form.

I wonder whether anybody has come across studies dealing with this
phenomenon or done any research in this field?

Many thanks in advance,

Sylvana Krausse

Languages Centre of FH Nordhausen
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