compounds vs. noun phrases

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by thunguyen, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. thunguyen New Member

    vietnam vietnamese
    Dear all,

    I am looking for pairs of Italian compound words and noun phrases such as milefoglie(compound) -mile foglie(phrases), centopedie - cento pedie for my research paper. These minimal pairs are very common in English(e.g, blackbird[a kind of bird]- black bird[a bird which is black], pastic money[credit card]- plastic money[money made of plastic], bluebottle[a kind of jelly fish]-blue bottle[bottle that is blue], so on. However, in Italian, I can only find the above two pairs.
    I will be grateful if you could let me know any more such pairs you know or can think of.
  2. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    Ciao e benvenuto/a! :)

    This thread is full of them (I hope you can read in Italian). In fact, Italian is very rich in such words - if that's what you are looking for. :)

  3. thunguyen New Member

    vietnam vietnamese
    Thanks Jana for your quick reply. Unfortunately I cannot read in Italian. To me the list of words in the thread are compounds(I guess from the English meaning), would you help give me their meaning as a phrase. Thank you
  4. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    OK, let me start with a couple of words to verify that it is what you are after. :)

    asciugamano - towel asciuga mano - dries hands
    asciugacapelli - hair-dryer asciuga capelli - dries hair
    schiaccianoci - nutcracker schiaccia noci - cracks nuts
    acchiappafarfalle - butterfly net acchiappa farfalle - catches butterflies
    senzatetto - homeless senza tetto - without a roof

    Actually, the verbs in the first four examples could be imperatives as well because the forms coincide. I have no clue whether it is more correct to interpret them as the third person or as the imperative.


  5. thunguyen New Member

    vietnam vietnamese
    Great Jana. This is exactly what I am after. Please let me know any more you have. Many thanks. Thu
  6. b2b

    b2b Senior Member

    Some more:
    ferrovia - railway; ferro: iron - via: street
    grattacielo - skyscraper; gratta: scrape; cielo: sky
    pettirosso - robin; petto: chest; rosso: red;

    Also automobile can be a composite word
    auto: self; mobile: movable (from muovere)

    Some from the thread Jana337 was pointing at
    (they are a verb-noun compositions):

    fermacarte: paper holder; fermare: to stop/hold; carta: paper
    spazzacamino: chimney sweep; spazzare: to sweep; camino: chimney
    asciugacapelli: hairdryer; asciugare: to dry; capelli: hair
    asciugamano: towel; asciugare: to dry; mano: hand
    lavastoviglie: dishwasher; lavare: to wash; stoviglie: dishes (??)
    lavavetri: windscreen washer; lavare: to wash; vetro: glass


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