Chapter in:Building Categories in Interaction: Linguistic resources at work
Edited by Caterina Mauri, Ilaria Fiorentini and Eugenio Goria
[Studies in Language Companion Series 220] 2021
► pp. 318–354
Morphopragmatics of rhyming and imitative co-compounds in Russian
Coordinative compounding is a phenomenon at the crossroads between word-formation, syntax and discourse, adopted for encoding non-lexicalized concepts in a wide range of languages. We propose a morphopragmatic account of two specific coordinative compounding strategies in Russian, namely, rhyming and imitative co-compounds. They exhibit non-compositional semantics, inasmuch as they perform a generalizing/categorizing function, which, in turn, is tightly intertwined with a strong pragmatic evaluative component, involving irony and downgrading of the referent. Furthermore, different means of categorization tend to cluster in discourse, thus resulting in pervasive overcoding of the respective ad hoc concepts. Since categorization is a result of an online process of meaning negotiation between speakers, we have to do with low-frequency single instances of a frequent phenomenon.
Keywords: coordinative compounding, rhyming co-compounds, imitative co-compounds