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Brx /'pulusi/ ['puluçi]:
Syntax 1: Noun Phrases

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1. Preliminary: compound words

Most, probably all, languages allow words to be joined to form compounds, cf. English: ice-cream, snowdrop, lighthouse, nutcracker etc. Speedwords also made much use of compounding, as we may see on the 'Speedwords word-building presents problems' page. Although, as I point out on the 'Speedwords morphemes are not self-segregating', Dutton did make an attempt in the spoken version of his language to distinguish the different lexical parts of compounds, e.g.kyta ['kaiŋta:] = supper.

Thus a compound is marked in pronunciation by infixing [ɪŋ] or, if the first word ends in a vowel or diphthong, [ŋ] between the two lexical units forming the compound. If, by the way, we had come across the troublesome word evue in speech rather than in writing, part of the problem of morpheme segregation would have been solved; we would have heard ['ɛvɪŋˌuːjeː] and thus not be misled into thinking we might have the morphemes e-vu-e (see 'itollis and evue').

If, however, we have three lexical units in a Speedwords compound, [ɪʃ] (or [ʃ] after a vowel) is inserted between the first and second lexical unit, but nothing between the second and third. Thus if we had heard ['ɪtɪʃˌɒllɪs] we would have known immediately that the first element of itollis was it "implement"; sadly, however, it would not have solved all our problems.

Brx must be able to form compounds. It does this in writing in the same way that compounds were shown in Dutton's International Symbolic Script of 1936, i.e. by using the dot (or period; see 'Phonology & Orthography 3.4 Brx morpheme dividers'), e.g.

  • /'ci.alu'salu/ = "city street(s)" ← car /'ci.alu/ "city" + sr /'salu/ "street"
  • sql.xtb /'sakula'sitapu/ = "school-book" ← sql /'sakula/ "school" + xtb /'sitapu/ "book"
  • ruq.or /'lu.uku'walu/ "werewolf" ← ruq "wolf" /'lu.uku/ + or /'walu/ "man [generic], human being, person"

In English compound words may be shown as a single written word, hyphenated or written as two words, book ~ school-book ~ schoolbook. Brx has only one method, the dot: sql.xtb.