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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Compound Noun    

Compound Noun



seansarto
United States

Compound Noun
 
Could somebody explain the logic that would clarify why "beach hotel" is a compound noun?..My thinking argues that "beach" is being used as adjective..It doesn īt really create a new thing...It only describes the location of the hotel or maybe purpose...Yet all the information I have seen states "beach" is not used as an adjective....Or  "beach hat" ...Definitely purpose there...I argue "beach" is being used as adjective. ...Conversely, "action movie"..action is an adjective describing purpose...Doesn īt make sense to me.

17 Nov 2015      



ldeloresmoore
China

Ok -- Let me see if I can take a swing at this one.
 
I am from West Palm Beach, Florida. Right on the ocean.
 
We have a lot of sand and a lot of tourists.
 
To me -- I īm with you: I kinda see Beach Hotel as a noun with an adjective.
 
BUT -- at the same time, yes, if someone has told you that this is a compound noun, I can see the logic there, too. And here īs why --
 
As a WPB resident, we have hotels on the beach and we have what I instinctively know would fall under "beach hotel" -- the amenities and function are a bit different. Like the primary -- and sometimes sole -- function of the establishment is to facilitate use of the beach. Period.
 
As opposed to just a hotel on the beach, which is like a hotel anywhere else, except that, "Oh,yeah, and, by the way, we also have a beach."
 
A little rambled, but I hope it helps.
 
Cheers --
 
Dee 

17 Nov 2015     



almaz
United Kingdom

According to Longman Student Grammar of Spoken and Written English, a compound noun is a type of derived noun which follows common patterns and may be a single word, two words or a hyphenated word. These patterns include noun + verb/noun (e.g. gunfire), verb-ing + noun (e.g. filing cabinet), noun + verb-er (e.g eye-opener) and even the noun-less pattern verb + particle (e.g. checkout). It also includes adjective + noun (e.g. real estate, grandmother) and the sequence youīre referring to, noun + noun (e.g. bar code, wallpaper, eye-witness). You can see the difference between the structural patterns of the last two.
 
Itīs just one pattern among several, but Iīd say that thereīs no problem with describing the ībeachī part of the compound as a noun. If youīre looking for a logical relationship, youīd be right if you said itīs one of location (the hotel is found on, or near, the beach).
 
Alex 

17 Nov 2015     



seansarto
United States

Thanks...but doesnīt action in "action movie" carry same weight and distinction?...The function or purpose of the movie is to exhibit and express "action"..."Beach" is a distinct geographical location...I īm getting similar results with words like "mountain", "lakeside", "land"..etc.... On the other hand "East" in  "East wing" denotes direction and is a bit more ambiguous/abstract...Results show "east" to be an adjective...Itīs the concept behind nouns used as adjectives..Not so much proper adjectives....Is it something to do with tangibility?
 

17 Nov 2015     



almaz
United Kingdom

Well, Sean, to quote the grammar I mentioned earlier, noun + noun sequences "are used to express a bewildering array of logical relations", many of which might belong to several categories.  These include – apart from location, of course – composition (glass windows), purpose (pencil case), identity (exam paper), objective (taxi driver), time (Christmas party), institution (insurance company), content (horror film) and so on. And there are many others, such as riot police, which donīt fit into these categories so neatly. But beach hotel and action film are both still part of the noun + noun pattern. You have to consider the context and decide for yourself what the category is (if indeed there is one conveniently to hand).
 
īEastī (with or without caps) can be an adjective, an adverb or a noun and may indicate direction or location.
 
 

17 Nov 2015     



seansarto
United States

@almaz...Not trying to be offensive but donīt really care much for the word "bewildering" in logical terms...and most adult intelligences wouldnīt buy that as explanation...That īs like kinda saying, "just believe"! or "we say so"...Good for children but neither resolves the debate....Both I and the student who invoked this inquiry know it is "noun + noun" for that is obvious..The question arose in a lesson trying to put adjectives in a correct order...and there seemed a conflict in reason with "I need a nice, long, relaxing, beach vacation" from an activity I had obtained from this site to compliment the sparse material that was made available for the lesson ...I knew that was the correct order...but the students wanted to know why "nice" and "relaxing" werenīt both opinions...or why "relaxing" and "beach" werenīt both purpose..Perhaps a conjunction could be used between "nice and relaxing"? ..There seemed a duality in the emphasis of the words chosen to describe the vacation...I had the "ing" rule...but it wasnīt enough of a determiner...This led me to questioning the reasoning why even "beach" was not determined as an adjective instead of a noun..the combination of the two nouns does not suggest to me a "compound" noun...it seems to be fulfilling a descriptive role telling purpose in terms of the hotel...We could say "beach and resort hotel" with a conjunction or "nice and relaxing hotel" and there would be no loss of fluency if I instead said "relaxing and nice hotel" or "resort and beach hotel"...Is it only in the presence of multiple adjectives that have common emphasis?...I hadnīt time to give it much thought...What is interesting about the language is its logic...Sharp wits are forged in reason...It makes no sense not to call "beach" a proper adjective in terms of "beach hotel" or "beach vacation"....Iīm not Socrates, but I want to call it an adjective until logic is presented to clarify "bewildering" īs intent....Any linguists out there?..Applied? Cognitive? etc...Inquiry is the mindīs first line of defense from apathy.

It turns out there are quite intensive regards concerning the quality of determining when nouns are "valid" as adjectives:
 
http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/87609/is-this-noun-used-as-an-adjective/87611#87611

17 Nov 2015     



almaz
United Kingdom

The book I cited (Longman Student Grammar of Spoken and Written English)  is a corpus-based grammar aimed at advanced students and teachers of English. Itīs an abridged version of this magisterial tome. Itīs definitely not for children. And Iīd say the authorsī use of the word "bewildering" in the context I gave you can be glossed the same way as, say, perplexing: intricate or complicated. It neednīt mean confusing or muddled.

18 Nov 2015     



seansarto
United States

Know the book..But, obviously the tome is not definitive.

18 Nov 2015     



almaz
United Kingdom

And which grammar book or books would you consider to be authoritative, Sean? Which ones do you consult? Iīm genuinely curious 

18 Nov 2015     



seansarto
United States

In response to YOUR inquiry perhaps: APA Dictionary of Clinical Psychology...For all other inquiries..in the past.. I used to find Mark TWainīs "The Diary of Adam and Eve" as pretty definitive reference...but these days, maybe "It Doesnīt Take a Hero" by General "Stormin" Norman Schwarzkopf is more definitive

18 Nov 2015