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Compound constituents

On the morphosyntactic level, compounds are distinguished in terms of the morphosyntactic (categorial) nature of their constituents, i.e. whether it is a dependent constituent (discussed here), or an independent constituent. An independent constituent (i.e. independent morpheme) is an element in a compound that can be used autonomously, without requiring other morphemes for its formal or semantic realisation. These include different types of stems (like nouns, adjectives, etc.), reduced stems (like abbreviations and acronyms), complex words (like affixed words and compounds), multi-word units (like phrasal names), and phrases and sentences, with affixoids as a special kind of independent constituent (described here). A dependent constituent (i.e. dependent morpheme) is an element that only occurs in a compound, requiring other independent morphemes for its formal or semantic realisation. These include confixes (like kardio- and -logie in kardio+logie cardiology), libfixes (like -gate in Nkandla·gate scandal related to Nkandla), cranberry morphs (like aam- in aam+beeld anvil), and reduced stems (like clippings). Dependent constituents is described in more detail here.

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