Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by Rosieo, Jan 20, 2007.
Jan 20, 2007
If snowman, snowball, and snowfall are compound words why isn't snow pants? What rule am I missing?
Could it be that snow pants are not combined into a single word?
Yes, but why not? Why isn't it snowpants?
Myabe because it's not something you make FROM snow??
Hey, Rosie - this might help...
An open compound consists of two or more words written separately, such as salad dressing, Boston terrier, or April Fools’ Day. A hyphenated compound has words connected by a hyphen, such as age-old, mother-in-law, force-feed. A solid compound consists of two words that are written as one word, such as keyboard or typewriter. (http://www.bartleby.com/64/84.html)
So, I guess that snow pants is an open compound word. Why, oh why, can't grammar be simple????
OK, now I have to go explain to my little kiddies about open compound words! My job just got harder!!!!
I am glad I am not the only one who doesn't know this answer!!!!
Hey, Kinder!! Long time no write.
Relax, - at least kinders don't need to know about compound words yet.... do they????
As far as whether or not kindergartners need to know about compound words, I'd say it depends on your curriculum. We use Open Court, and we just did a brief thing on blending and segmenting words - not calling it compound words, but dealing with the words eyeball, cupcake, sailboat, rainbow, etc, and breaking them into indiv. words...so I'd say that the Kdg level does more than we do and probably labels them as compound, too.
We do compound words in first grade....but I dont go into the rules...its more for decoding (looking for words w/in the word) rather than writing.....All I tell them is that a compound words is when 2 small words join together to make one big word and that we can read them because we know to look for the 2 smaller words......
Jan 21, 2007
Compound words don't have to be just one word. They can be two separate words, if the sense or definition depend on both words. They can also be hyphenated words.
I quite liked Alice's guess that snow pants isn't a compound because they're not made of snow, though snowplow is rather a problem...
One of the tests that linguists use for whether phrases like snow pants and ice cream are compounds is to look at how they're pronounced - in particular, where the stress falls. The difference, for example, between blackboard 'thing people write on with chalk' and black board 'board that is black' is that in blackboard the stress falls on the first syllable, whereas in black board, the stress falls on the second syllable - the noun.
Snow pants is stressed on the word snow, not pants, which suggests that it is indeed a compound, just one that happens to be written as two words rather than as one.
Why two words? Hm. One quite likely possibility is that other compounds involving pants - painter's pants, stretch pants, dress pants - are written as two words, so there's no reason to treat snow pants differently. Another is that all of these objects all really do look like pants, one way or another - but a snowplow looks little like a regular plow that plows the earth and works quite a bit differently, just as snowshoes (as opposed to tap shoes) don't much resemble shoes except for going on one's feet.
Very interesting question!
I was hoping no one would pick up on that!
I am so glad that this came up. I feel better now. my kids love playing the compound word game. (I give a word and they give me a compound word to go with it). when they give me a word I didn't think was a compound word and they wanted to know why, I didn't realize they include open compound words.
I am glad that there isn't a simple answer because I felt quite silly when I was writing it on the Smartboard and it kept coming up as 2 words and I didn't know why. There was an TA in the room and she gave me a look like "don't you know!"
I always seem to have that moment with good ole' English. Whenever I think I know, I find out I don't. The kids always throw one at me and I have to try and explain my way out of it....
If it's any consolation, other languages really aren't any better - though their oddities may take other forms.