IndoTyrrhenian, French and avoidance of N+N non-dvandva compounding

From: Glen Gordon
Message: 5374
Date: 2001-01-09

Piotr the warrior exacts punishment for my logic crimes:
>No need. I'll do it for you. They can't be N+N compounds, as these >are
>invariably head-final in English (just try to imagine *roombed, >*baghand
>or *goerchurch).

Alright, alright, already! You're correct! I'm scum :) My analysis of
/porte-.../ compounds in French is wrong because of the plural. My white
flag is waving in the air. My pride lays in your hands. Boohoo...

However, there must be some reason why *roombed is not allowed in English
while similar compounds exist in French. Does it relate to the differences
in expressing the genitive (English /-'s/ but French /de/="of")?

And just one correction however: There IS a word "bagger-man", not
"bag-man", meaning the friendly slave of mass consummerism & downsizing who
bags your groceries at the supermarket for minimum wage as he struggles
desperately to get his computer science degree. Never forget those poor,
minimum-wage students that help you to your car. There is also the
"packerman", another luxurious profession. In contrast, "PacMan" is a
palaeolithic arcade game making loud, synthesized noises back when computers
could only display blue, purple and white on the screen (Wow! Talkin' about
primitive, man!). A "packerman" isn't a "packman" or a "Pacman" and a
"baggerman" isn't a "bag-man" (a male "bag-lady"), although the latter
connection makes sense financially :) There's also Quakerman. Of course
there is no "goer-church" but this is unacceptable word order in English

>These points are well taken. Look, let's sum up the French situation.
> >French generally avoids IE-type compounding (complex nouns of the N+N
> >structure). It does have some trivial dvandva combinations like
> >chien-loup (pl. chiens-loups) and a great number of V+N compounds. >There
>is also a small number of N+N compounds presumably reflecting >fossilised
>phrases with "de" omitted (oeil-de-boeuf, pl. >oeils-de-boeuf is the normal
>type); hotel-Dieu (pl. hotels-Dieu) and >cheval-vapeur (pl. chevaux-vapeur)
>belong here. This would explain >the anomalous root order and the
>"internal" inflection.

Alright, now that we (mostly I) have gotten this straightened out... may I
ask why it is that IndoTyrrhenian cannot act like French in some of these
respects? French inflects; so apparently would IndoTyrrhenian. Does a
language need to have certain characteristics before it can create these N+N
compounds of a "reverse order"? Is there a reason why French generally
avoids N+N non-dvandva compounding while English allows it?

PS: And Torsten, if you're listening... the connection between
Etruscan and "people of the rivers" are _my own_ ideas (at
least as far as I know) and probably won't be found in a
textbook anytime soon. The Etruscans call themselves Ras'na,
a name that isn't connectable phonetically to IE "river-folk"
names. The origin of their name is unknown. Even _I_ can't
think up an etymology for it... yet. In Etruscan, the word
/lautn/ only appears to mean "family". Just have to make
that clear... I don't want to corrupt anybody or anything :)

- gLeN

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