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In this article various constructions of English with the form A + N are considered, with particular reference to stress patterns. It is shown that there are several such patterns, and that stress patterns do not correlate with fixed effects. It is also argued that a simple division between compound and phrase does not seem to provide a motivation for the patterns found. The patterns seem to be determined partly by factors which are known to influence stress patterns in N + N constructions, and partly by lexical class, though variability in which expression belongs to which class is acknowledged. It is concluded that this is an area of English grammar that needs further research.
Are compounds words or phrases - or are they neither or both? How should we classify compounds? How can we deal with the fact that the relationship between the elements of sugar pill ('pill made of sugar') is different from that in sea-sickness pill ('pill to prevent sea-sickness')? Are compounds a linguistic universal? How much do languages vary in the way their compounds work? Why do we need compounds, when there are other ways of creating the same meanings? Are so-called neoclassical compounds like photograph really compounds? Based on more than forty years' research, this controversial new book sets out to answer these and many other questions.