Publication details [#184]

Kageyama, Taro. 2010. Variation between endocentric and exocentric word structures. Lingua 120 (10) : 2405–2423. 19 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language


This paper reports the discovery of a new type of exocentric word structure in Japanese. The structure is composed of two “dependent” elements (elements that cannot be classified as “head”), for example huto-ppara (lit. ‘fat stomach/big heart’). This expression refers to the subject being big-hearted or generous rather than their physical organs. It is classified as an Adjectival Noun [AN], corresponding neither to the Adjective category of huto- ‘fat, big’ nor to the Noun category of -ppara ‘stomach, heart’. This is entirely distinct from the familiar types of metaphor- and metonymy-based exocentric compounds like redhead and pickpocket, which are always nouns.