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Compound Words

Sometimes it’s convenient to render a phrase like saber of light or barroom sport of tossing dwarves as a single word like lightsaber or dwarf-tossing. Such words are called compound words.

Despite alleged monstrosities like Finnish lento­kone­suih­kutur­biini­moot­toria­pume­kaanik­koa­liup­see­riop­pilas and German Schützen­graben­vernich­tungs­auto­mobil, compounds are often shorthand renderings of even longer constructions in Romániço, like capil-brucio (“hairbrush”) from capilisca brucio or brucio por capilos.

Compound words generally consist of a head (a word that expresses the basic meaning of the whole compound) and one or more modifiers. (E.g., handbrake consists of the head brake, the basic meaning of the compound, and hand, describing the sort of brake it is.) The head and modifiers can be separated with a hyphen for the sake of clarity, according to preference.

In English, the head usually comes last in a compound, but this varies from language to language — and often within the same language (e.g., English lockpick and pickpocket, Spanish chupacabra and fazferir). Romániço uses the model of Greek and Latin derived international compounds, where the main element, if any, comes last (e.g., astronaut “star-sailor”, anthropophage “man-eater”).

acri-dulço [acra et dulça]-o bittersweet thing
ennigrilistifer [en nigra listo]-ifer to blacklist
Dicin álicu “Tónitri-furio, bene­dic­tita lamno di la venti-cer­can­to”? [furio di tónitro, cercanto je vento] Did someone say “Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker”?

There are some compounds that denote something other than a form of the head. For example, silverback denotes not a type of back, but a male ape characterized by a silver back, and before-tax denotes not a type of tax, but profits reckoned before taxes. Here, too, Romániço follows the model of Greek and Latin international compounds (e.g., apathy “without-feeling”).

gris-capilo* [(álico habanta) grisa capilos] grayhaired person
omni-dia [(di) omna dios] everyday
superhómino [(álico) super le hómino] superman
abante-cambro [(álico) abante la cambro] ante-chamber
*When the synecdochic use of words like grey-hair to refer to a person and not a kind of hair isn’t clear enough, a clarifying suffix should be added, e.g., gris-capiloso, gris-capilosa. This is most often the case when the first element of the compound is a descriptive adjective (i.e., one that answers “what kind?”).

Note that Romániço uses -i- as a connecting vowel between the elements of a compound word. The connecting vowel can be elided, euphony permitting, except when the preceding element ends in unstressed -i-:

cantist-auctorisca [cantisto et auctoro]-isca pertaining to singer-songwriters
triángulos álicos cum [tria ángulos] triangles
cacii-colectiono [cacier et colectioner]-o hunting and gathering
me-parte [mea parto]-e for my part
omni-die [omna dio]-e every day, as an everyday occurrence

When a preposition is combined with a verb that can take an object, the preposition is treated as an adverb with an elided -e and the object of the compound is the object of the original verb:

deprender on capelo [de-e prender on capelo] to take off a hat

When a preposition is combined with a verb of motion that does not take an object, the object of the preposition can be used as the object of the compound to signify motion toward that object:

advener on concordo [vener ad on concordo] to come to an agreement
envader on cambro [vader aden on cambro] to enter a room