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compound noun limits

Discussion in 'Nederlands (Dutch)' started by ElAjedrezEsLaVida, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. ElAjedrezEsLaVida Senior Member

    Manchester, UK
    inglés británico
    I am learning Dutch right now, and am still unclear on compound nounds: is there a limit to the length of words for a compound noun, and is it incorrect to leave what can be a compound noun, two (or more) separate nouns? For example I play chess and if I were in a (chess) bookstore in Netherlands chess cities Alkmaar or Wijk aan Zee, and I want to ask about if there are "Najdorf Sicilian Old Main Line 6. Bg5 Variation chess opening books", all of which are nouns related to chess, can I leave some nouns out of one long compound noun, or does it have to be "NajdorfSicilianischeOudeBeljangrijksteLijnen6.Lg5Variatie'sschakenopeningsboeken", or can I say/write "Najdorf Sicilianische Oude Belangrijkste Lijn 6. Lg5 Variaties schakenopeningsboeken"? Sometimes I have problems knowing when to form compound nouns.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013
  2. bibibiben

    bibibiben Senior Member

    Amsterdam
    Dutch - Netherlands
    That's not the way Dutch operates. 'Een boek over schaakopeningen met daarin de variatie blablabla' would be the normal thing to say.

    In general, it's safer not to create your own compounds, and when you do, keep them short. For example:

    Een jurk met streepjes could be a 'streepjesjurk'.
    Een jurk met streepjes en sterren could be a 'streepjes-en-sterrenjurk', but it's safer to say 'een jurk met streepjes en sterren'.
    Een jurk met streepjes en sterren en een rits aan de zijkant will never be a 'streepjes-en-sterren-zijsluitingsjurk'.
     
  3. ElAjedrezEsLaVida Senior Member

    Manchester, UK
    inglés británico
    I suppose it is different than German in that respect--I play chess and I once studied a chess article in a book titled in German, "Königsspringerzuruckhaltungspolitik" or something like that, which is an extremely long word. But I suppose in Dutch it would be divided into more words.
     
  4. bibibiben

    bibibiben Senior Member

    Amsterdam
    Dutch - Netherlands
    Dutch is capable of creating rather long compounds, but there are limitations.

    First of all, make sure that the constituents are rather simple. You're taking a big risk if you want to make a complex constituent like "streepjes en sterren en een rits aan de zijkant" part of a compound. You'd better not try it.

    Even if you string simple constituents together, there's a big risk, though. Take "jurkmouwaanzetstukfabrikantenregeling". It's nothing more than "een regeling|die bestemd is|voor fabrikanten|die aanzetstukken maken|voor mouwen van jurken|". Most people will understand this word, but will it be readily accepted? I don't think so. As this word is not a lexical unit, there will always be something fishy about it. The longer your compounds, the more likely it is that it won't be a lexical unit.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2013

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