Compound Words

1. Compound nouns are written without a hyphen, eg. relwe (railway), paṣnjrtren (passenger train), mītñples (meeting place), except where:

  1. other than in the case of proper nouns: (a) one of the elements is already a compound, eg. relwe-steśn (railway station); (b) the second element begins with a vowel (other than the schwa – see 1b below), eg. sì-er (sea air); (c) the second element is a monosyllable with the vowel omitted, eg. not-bc (notebook); (d) the two elements deliberately rhyme, eg. mumbo-jumbo.
  2. the expression constitutes a proper noun, in which case the elements are separated by a space, as in traditional spelling, eg. Bucñm Palis (Buckingham Palace), Rījnt Strīt (Regent Street).

Notes:

  1. Other than in the case of proper nouns: (a) a schwa at the end of the first element is represented by a dot, eg. teṛcotapot (terracota pot); (b) a schwa at the beginning of the second element is represented by an apostrophe, eg. banc’cǎnt (bank account).
  2. An r-shaded schwa at the end of the first element of a compound proper noun – or a proper noun that derives from a compound – is represented by a dot, eg. Liṿpul (Liverpool) – or by juxtaposition of the same consonant letter, eg. Winttn (Winterton).
  3. Where either element is a monosyllable ending in I, IZ, U or UZ, a macron is added, eg. tīparti (tea party), afṭnuntī (afternoon tea), carcīz (car keys), śūlêsz (shoe laces), wŭdscrū (wood screw), dansñśūz (dancing shoes).
  4. Where the first element is a monosyllable ending in E or O, a circumflex is added, eg. dêlît (daylight), snǒbōl (snowball). Compare sumrdez (summer days), flǎrśo (flower show).

2. Compound words other than nouns are hyphenated – eg. wel-of (well-off), bric-bilt (brick-built) – except where:

  1. the second element begins with the schwa, eg. wel’qentd (well-aquainted).
  2. the first element is an adverb ending in LI, eg. bytifli dn (beautifully done).
  3. the first element indicates what the second is made of, eg. rasḅri jam (raspberry jam).

INTRODUCTION EXAMPLES ALPHABET CONSONANTS VOWELS PREFIXES SUFFIXES SHORT FORMS VERBAL CONTRACTIONS HOMOGRAPHS HOMOPHONES