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Reply to "Terminology question"

Hi, Kinto,

Actually, the noun+ed in those adjective compounds has undergone a word-formation process known as "affixation," whereby a word category changes to a different word class by means of the addition of an affix (in this case, a suffix). What is remarkable is that, unlike cases like far-fetched, new-laid, quick-frozen (I've taken these examples from A University Grammar of English by Randolph Quirk and Sidney Greenbaum, page 447), where the second component is a past participle, in cases like the ones you mention:

@Kinto posted:

able-bodied, absent-minded, quick-witted, strong-willed, high-spirited

the noun has been converted into an unconventional participle. I'm not sure if it has a specific name other than being the second component of these adjective compounds. On the Internet I have found they are sometimes called "noun-based or denominal participles."

I have found that Walter Hirtle calls those compounds "modified -ed adjectives," as opposed to "bare -ed adjectives" (Hirtle, Walter H. (1969) "-Ed Adjectives like ‘verandahed’ and ‘blue-eyed’" in Journal of Linguistics 6, 19-36)

@Kinto posted:

I may confidently call it adj + N + -ed

That is in fact the formula I use to explain these highly productive compound adjectives (long-legged, short-sighted, quick-tempered, fat-bellied, fresh-scented, blue-eyed, middle-aged) to my students.

Last edited by Gustavo, Co-Moderator
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