Contrastive analysis of compound adjectives in English and Ukrainian

The necessity of description of compound adjectives in the English and the Ukrainian languages in respect of their contrastive analysis. The differences and similarities in their internal structure and meaning of translation of compound adjectives.

Рубрика Иностранные языки и языкознание
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Язык английский
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In this research work, I clarify mechanism that work in compound adjectives. After this I make a comparative analysis between English and Ukrainian compound adjectives, which leads me to conclude that they are conceptual universal phenomenon, with high communicative and instructive power.

The topicality of the theme is determined by the necessity of description of compound adjectives in the English and the Ukrainian languages in respect of their contrastive analysis, especially within semantic groups which may provide material both for common and terminological dictionaries.

The research object are compound adjectives of the English language of their Ukrainian equivalents picked out from «Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English 2000» and «Тлумачний словник української мови» and other sources.

The research subject is presented by explanation of English compound adjectives and their translation into Ukrainian language.

The aim of my investigation is to analyze compound adjectives in English and Ukrainian taking into account different criteria, compare and contrast the result of investigation in order to discover differences and similarities in their internal structure and meaning, as well as present different methods of contrastive investigation and translation of compound adjectives. Another target of this work is to find out what type of compound adjectives is the most frequent in the modern English and Ukrainian languages.

It is a presumed fact that languages differ greatly in the combinative power of words and peculiarities of their usage as well as ways of word formation. Compounding is essential means of word formation in English. My work is dedicated to contrastive analysis of compounding among adjectives in English and Ukrainian.

1. Theoretical background of contrastive analysis

1.1 Origin of contrastive analysis

The study of two languages in contrast, called contrastive analysis, has been referred to by a variety of names, not all of which mean the same to all writers. One can find the following terms use: contrastive studies, contrastive language studies, contrastive linguistics, applied contrastive studies, contrastive description and others. The term contrastive is also used with studies of particular levels and functional areas of the linguistic system, such as contrastive generative grammar and contrastive lexicon, as well as the contrastive pragmalinguistics, contrastive discourse analysis, contrastive sociolinguistics, contrastive theoric and many more.

In contrastive analysis, the following problems are discussed: thesauri of entire vocabularies; classification of lexical hierarchies; taxonomic structure of specialized terminology; lexico-semantic relationships; practical implications.

Contrastive analysis is a relatively modern discipline, emerging as a major linguistic tool during and after World War Two, particularly in the United States in the context of second and foreign language teaching. In the late 1950s, Robert Lado proposed contrastive analysis as a means of identifying areas of difficulty for language learners, although already in 1945 Charles Fries had formulated the theory. The earlier contrastive analysis research was language-focused. During the pre-Chomskyan structuralist period, linguists examined features of the native language which contrasted with features of the foreign language, indicating that these would be areas most likely to cause difficulty for foreign language learners.

A contrastive analysis describes the structural differences and similarities of two or more languages. As an area of enquiry, contrastive analysis (CA) is concerned with the principles and uses of such descriptions. It implies a belief in language universals; as in any contrast, if there were no features in common, there would be no basis for comparison. Broadly defined, CA has been used as a tool in historical linguistics to establish language genealogies, in comparative linguistics to create language taxonomies and in translation theory to investigate problems of equivalence. In language teaching it has been influential through the Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis (CAH) which claims that difficulties in language learning derive from the differences between the new language and the learner's first language, that errors in these areas of difference derive from first language interference and that these errors can be predicted and remedied by the use of CA. The CAH was widely influential in the 1950s and 1960s, but from the 1970s its influence dramatically declined. In that time contrastive analysis theory had been to an extent supplanted by error analysis, which examined not only the impact of transfer errors but also those related to the target language, including overgeneralization (Bowen, Madsen & Hilferty, 1985, p. 58).

This was due in part to the supplanting of structural linguistics, with which it was closely associated. The CAH was also at odds with the views in SLA and inter-language theory that only a small proportion of errors derived from first language Krzeszowski (1985) identified an approach to the teaching of Latin in England, going back nearly a thousand years, called sign theory, which involved reconciling the grammatical descriptions of English and Latin. Di Pietro (1971) focuses on a more recent relative, late nineteenth-century comparative philology which sought to link languages historically, developmentally and structurally within «family» relationships.

Contrastive linguists attempt to find out similarities & differences in both related & non-related languages. Contrastive analysis grew as the result of the practical demands of a language-teaching methodology, where it was empirically shown that the errors which are made by foreign language students can be often traced back to the differences in structure between the target language & the language of the learner. This naturally implies the necessity of a detailed comparison of the structure of a native & a target language. This procedure has been named contrastive analysis.

People proceed from the assumption that the categories, elements on the semantic as well as on the syntactic & other levels are valid for both languages.

1.2 The place and role of contrastive analysis in linguistics

Contrastive analysis is a linguistic branch whose main aim is to help the analyst to ascertain in which aspects the two languages are alike and in which they differ. It includes two main processes - description and comparison set up in four basic steps: a) assembling the data, b) formulating the description, c) supplementing the data as required, and d) formulating the contrasts.

CA grew as the result of the practical demands of language teaching methodology where it was empirically shown that the errors which are made recurrently by foreign language students can be often traced back to the differences in structure between the target language and the language of the learner. This naturally implies the necessity of a detailed comparison of the structure of a native and a target language which has been named contrastive analysis.

It should be borne in mind that though objective reality exists outside human beings and irrespective of the language they speak every language classifies reality in its own way by means of vocabulary units.

The central theoretical issue and the ultimate goal of contrastive studies is the question of establishing similarities and differences and, consequently, their quantification. Chesterman (1998), in addressing this issue, makes a useful distinction between `similarity-as-trigger', defining it as «the notion of a particular relation existing between entities in the world, a relation that impinges upon human perception, from matter to mind» and `similarity-as-attribution', which goes in the opposite direction, from mind to matter. It is essentially a subjective, cognitive process that perceives two entities as being similar. Similarity judgements, in turn, «are (…) ways of organizing and clarifying one's mental representations of the world». They are also bound to be relative, variable and culture dependent.

Contrastive analysis also brings to light what can be labelled problem pairs, the words that denote two entities in one language and correspond to two different words in another language.

Contrastive analysis brings to light the essence of what is usually described as idiomatic English, idiomatic Ukrainian the peculiar way in which every language combines and structures in lexical units various concepts to denote extra-linguistic reality.

СA deals with the meaning and use of situational verbal units, words, word-groups, sentences which are commonly used by native speakers in certain situations.

Сontrastive analysis cannot be overestimated as an indispensable stage in preparation of teaching material, in selecting lexical items to be extensively practiced and in predicting typical errors. It is also of great value for an efficient teacher who knows that to have a native like command of a foreign language, to be able to speak what we call idiomatic English, words, word-groups and whole sentences must be learned within the lexical, grammatical and situational restrictions of the English language.

1.3 Contrastive analysis & contrastive lexicology

Contrastive lexicology is systematic branch of linguistics which deals with similarities and differences of two or more related and non-related languages. Contrastive lexicology studies various lexical units. They are: morphemes, words, variable word-groups and phraseological units. We proceed from the assumption that the word is the basic unit of the language system, the largest on morphological & the smallest on syntactic plane of linguistic analyses. Other labels that have been used in the literature are: comparative semantics; comparative synonymies; lexical/semantic comparison; differential lexicology; lexical contrastive analysis; semantic/lexical interference.

The vantage-point varies, depending on whether the aim is to enlighten semantics, translation, lexicography, bilingualism, or foreign language teaching, but «inherent in all these approaches is the belief that lexical patterns can be studied synchronically and descriptively by assessing the similarities and differences in the structure of the vocabulary of two or more languages.

There are seven stages in the development of contrastive lexicology. These are: 1. prelinguistic word studies; 2. semantics; 3. lexicography; 4. translation; 5. foreign language learning; 6. bilingualism; 7. contrastive analysis.

Contrastive lexicology is directly connected with contrastive analysis at the level of lexis, conducting the studying of perception and categorization of the real word around us.

Contrastive analysis can be carried out at three linguistic levels: phonology, grammar (morphology and syntax) and lexis (vocabulary). The word is a structural & semantic entity within the language system. The word as well as any linguistic sign is a two-faced unit possessing both form & content or, to be more exact, sound-form & meaning.

When used in actual speech the word undergoes certain modification & functions in one of its forms. The system showing a word in all its word - forms is called a paradigm. The lexical meaning of a word is the same throughout the paradigm. The grammatical meaning varies from one form to another. Therefore when we speak on any word as used in actual speech we use the term «word» conventionally because what is manifested in the utterances is not a word as a whole but one of its forms which is identified as belonging to the definite paradigm. Words as a whole are to be found in the dictionary (showing the paradigm n - noun, v - verb, etc).

There are two approaches to the paradigm: as a system of forms of one word revealing the differences & the relationships between them.

In abstraction from concrete words the paradigm is treated as a pattern on which every word of one part of speech models its forms, thus serving to distinguish one part of speech from another.

- s - `s - s'

- ed - ing

nouns of-phrases verbs

Besides the grammatical forms of words there are lexical varieties which are called «variants» of words. Words seldom possess only one meaning, but used in speech each word reveals only that meaning which is required

e. g. to learn at school to make a dress

to learn about smth. /smbd. to make smbd. do smth.

These are lexico-semantic variants.

There are also phonetic & morphological variants.

e. g. «often» can be pronounced in two ways, though the sound-form is slightly changed, the meaning remains unchangeable. We can build the forms of the word «to dream» in different ways:

to dream - dreamt - dreamt.

1.4 Contrastive analysis and translation studies

The relationship between CA and translation is bidirectional. On the one hand, the translation of specific pieces of text may provide the data for CA, as in Gleason (1965), Krzeszowski (1990) and James (1980). On the other, CA may provide explanations of difficulties encountered in translation (e.g Nida 1964; Beekman and Callow 1974; Yebra 1982; Enkwist 1978; Baker 1992). [16]

Translation as a source of data for CA is strictly unavoidable. The crucial factors here are what size of language sample has been chosen for translation, whether it is naturally occurring or fabricated for the purpose, and whether the translation is the analyst's own. Though the focus of CA may continue to shift towards pragmatics and discourse analysis, its use in translation is not inevitable. It is however unlikely that it can be dispensed with completely either in the training of translators or in the assessment of translations, even in its more traditional lexico-grammatical manifestations; Halliday (1985) notes that a `discourse analysis that is not based on grammar is not analysis at all, but simply a running commentary on a text'. He adds that «a text is a semantic unit, not a grammatical one, meanings are realized through wordings; and without a theory of wording - that is, a grammar - there is no way of making explicit one's interpretation of the meaning of the text'. Baker (1992) cites the latter comment with approval in a book that is itself an indication of the continued vitality of CA as an aid to translation.

In one respect, however, Halliday's association of wordings with grammar is too narrow. An important future function of CA is likely to be in the area of collocation, where parallel concordancing based on comparable corpora permits the possibility of contrastive analysis of the collocational properties of semanyically related lexis from the source and target languages. For example, translations in six languages (English, French, German, Italian, Danish and Greek) are the data for a six-way collocational and grammatical comparison making use of parallel concordancing which is currently being undertaken with Lingua funding by a number of European universities led by the university of Nancy ІІ. As noted above, much CA has arisen as a result of the needs of the language teaching profession and this project is no exception in that one of its major objectives is to provide teachers with assistance in the use of parallel concordancing in the classrooms. However, the use as data of the diverse range of translations means that the project is certain to provide valuable evidence for translators on the transferability of certain collocations and colligations from one language to another. The future of CA's use in translation may well lie in projects such as this, which are capable of providing with equal facility explanations of past translating decisions and guidance as to prospective ones.

Scientists distinguish such relevant areas of study in translation: pragmatic aspects (original audience vs. target audience, e.g., modern English-speaking one); context (original vs. target): writer intention, reader expectation, medium, time/place of reception; source - and target-text analysis (intercultural, interlingual aspects, personal preferences of translators); translation problems; translation strategies.

Such objects of study are considered to be important in translation:

1) Textual aspects («product»):

- comparison between ST and TT

- translated vs. original language

2) Cognitive aspects («process»):

- cognitive processing

- translation competence, etc.

The emphasis of much of work on CA on teaching and language learning raises questions about its relevance to translators. At a practical level, it is probably most useful in pointing our areas where direct translation of a term or phrase will not convey accurately in the second language the intended meaning of the first. At a global level, it leads the translator to look on broader issues such as whether the structure of the discourse for a given text-type is the same in both languages.

Furthermore, although CA is widely practiced, there are a number of theoretical and practical problems in its application, all of which must affect judgments as to its usefulness in preparing or evaluating translations. There is some overlap between these problems, but they can nevertheless be related to specific difficulties to identifying a common ground for comparison, comparing descriptions of different languages, taking account of psycholinguistic and sociocultural factors, and taking account of extratextual and intertextual factors.

2. Ways of word formation

Word formation addresses the processes for creating new words in a language. This does not mean, however, that the study of word formation only addresses how words are created that express concepts new to us current speakers of the language. It also does not mean that we cognitively «form» these new words every time we use them. Instead it investigates past and present means for creating words in languages; that is, some of these means may not be in use any longer. For example, the - ly in friendly or ghostly is no longer used to create new adjectives. But understanding the way in which the word was formed anew at one point in the past helps us see the relationship with other words. For example, in the word ghostly we can see that it was originally derived from the stem ghost and the ending - ly. Other means are still used frequently in English, such as the ending - ness discussed in the book. By the way, it is also helpful to know that rules such as the - ness rule for creating new words are called productive because we can produce new linguistic forms with them.

A very common way to form words is affixation. Affixation means that a bound morpheme is attached to a free morpheme, or stem. There are three places where the bound morpheme can go: before, after, or in the middle of the stem. The affixes that go before the stem are called prefixes (from Latin pre- = before). The ones that go after the stem are referred to as suffixes (from Latin sub- = under). And the affixes that go in the middle are labeled infixes. Examples for pre - and suffixes are plentiful in English. The book gives you several, such as unhappy, unlock, preexist and doubtful, lockable, or lovely for pre - and suffixes respectively. I also want to stress that the combination of several affixes in a row does not make the affixes closer to the stem infixes. For example, the ending - ist in realistic is not an infix but a suffix.

Let's practice this point and affixation in general a bit. I would like to challenge you in the following way. Who can find the word with the most number of affixes successively attached to it? I'll give you an example of what I mean. In the complex morpheme realistic there are two suffixes added in the stages: real, realist, realistic. See what you can come up with and list the stages like I did. Then go to the folder Formation Contest in FirstClass and compare your findings. I am curious to see who can come up with the word with the highest number of affixes. I also want to add to what the book says about infixes in English. They are rare but actually do exist, mostly in swear words. The one example that I feel confident about passing along is fan-damn-tastic. The other one I have heard I can't share because it is not appropriate for the web.

Compounding is another common word formation process. It is probably the most common one in today's English because it is so productively used in technical languages. Compounding is a process whereby two or more individual words are combined as one word. There are several examples in the book, and they are easy to find in real life as well. Out of curiosity I just pulled out a glossary from one of my previous jobs as a translator, when I was working for an engineering software company (this is a compound noun itself!). Here are a few examples of what I found: beginning intersect point, exit light fixture symbol, column centerline grid, default Project Architect support directory, and delete project menu. The last example even has a verb (delete) in it. Again, I want to challenge you to see who can find the longest or grammatically most «exotic» compound word. Collect examples over the next few days. Then go to the folder Formation Contest in FirstClass and post and compare your findings; there is only one folder for everyone this time.

In ending the discussion of this word formation process, let me also contribute my favorite German composite word (since the book gives you a few «benign» German examples). It is a word that we learned as kids so we could brag to know the longest word in German. Here it is: Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitan, roughly meaning 'captain of a Danube steamboat company'.

Reduplication and morpheme-internal change are pretty straightforward word formation processes. Neither one is very common in English. English language teachers likely won't have to worry about reduplication. The few cases of morpheme-internal change in English are best learned by heart because the rules for them are not productive any longer. I never learned them by rule as I acquired my English but instead had to memorize them. examples

Suppletion is a bit tricky but is also rare in English. It is the result of a historical process frozen in time. Briefly, historically there were two words with similar meanings in the language, typically used in different dialects. Over time, the two words merged into one paradigm. For example, in an earlier stage of English there were two words for to be, wesan and eom. These two were combined into one, and forms of both formed the paradigm for to be. Understanding this process fully is not important for teaching English, however, because suppletion is uncommon and its forms can be memorized. Examples, reference

3. Compounding in English and Ukrainian language

English is language which has many word formation processes like compounding, blends, affixation etc. In each word we can make change in the part of speech until meaning so we can enrich our new vocabulary, it is very useful to communicate with each other. Word that is employed of speaker must be related to the rules of that language. For example English, the speaker who uses English has to know about the word formation process so that they can make a new word from it. We must also know about the rule of this process to enrich our vocabulary.

The most common type of compounding in English language is the combination of two (or more) nouns in order to form a resulting noun:

Noun + Noun = Noun

Examples: landmine, wallpaper, toothbrush

The first of the two compounds may be descriptive (i.e. tablecloth, a cloth with which to clean [or cloth] tables), or both compounds may create a whole new meaning altogether (i.e railroad, which is not a «road» in the typical sense of the word.) It is also possible to form words whose components are equally important to or descriptive of its meaning, for example, a washer-dryer refers to an object combining two functions.

There are, of course, many more different ways in English language how compound nouns can be related to each other and how their new meanings can best be explained grammatically. In most cases, however, the nature of these compounds is self-explanantory, and their meanings are quite comprehensible even for those who encounter them for the first time.

Note that compound nouns usually appear as two separate words, only those more commonly used, those found in every-day language, and usually compounds with no more than three syllables are found as one word. Hyphens (-) between the segments of a compound noun are absolutely exceptional. Examples:

windowsill (the sill attached under a window), shopwindow (a shop's window), doorkey (a key for the door), bookpage (a page in a book), silverspoon (a spoon made of silver), waterpipe (a pipe that carries water), dockyard (a yard for docks), fireman (somebody who fights fire), wallpaper («paper» one glues to walls), Independence Day (anniversary of the Declaration of Independence), office supply (goods for office use), water shortage (shortage of water), labour riot (employees rioting


Here verbs describe what is done with an object or what a subject «does», in short, a new noun is formed, usually referring to something concrete, and the verb defines the action related to it:

Verb + Noun = Noun: draw + bridge = drawbridge.

A drawbridge is a bridge that can be inclined in order to allow ships to pass, or «drawn». Here, the noun is the direct object.

hitman = a man who carries out «dirty jobs», or, who «hits». Here, the word as part of speech is the subject.

Besides that, both segments can be related in other ways, i.e. the noun may stand for a adverb of place: walkway = people walk on the walkway.


Nouns and adjectives can also be compounded in the opposite order:

Noun + Adjective = Adjective

Camera + shy = camera-shy (Shy in respect of appearing or speaking before cameras).

In this case, the resultant is an adjective, while the noun explaines the objective.

Another possibility is that the noun supports the adjective, i.e. as an intensifier:

dirt-cheap = cheap as dirt; paper-thin = thin as paper

Those rules do also apply to the linking of nouns and participial adjectives:

English-speaking; soul-destroying; frost-bitten

More common and shorter compounds appear as one word whereas those longer and less common are linked by a hyphen. More examples of all subtypes:

waterproof (proof or resistant against water), seaworthy (a ship withstanding the dangers of the sea), airworthy (an aircraft safely flyable), blameworthy (a person deserving blame), bookworthy (something worth being published), trustworthy (somebody who can be trusted.

Other Compounds

There are various other types of compounds. A selection of which is shown below.

Adjective+Adjective:bitter-sweet, deaf-mute, aural-oral, Anglo-Saxon

Adjective + Participle:far-reaching, far fetched, narrow-minded, single-minded, high-climbing, low-yielding, red-painted, bare-handed.

Word compounds are fairly frequent in Ukrainian, but they play a subordinate part in word formation. In substantives, adjectives, adverbs, and verbs, compounds are usually formed by connecting two stems with so-called linking vowels: - o-, - e - (in substantives), and - y - (in cases where the first part is a numeral); eg, syn' - o-zelenyj `blue-green', zeml-e-trus `earthquake', sest-y-kutnyk `hexagon'.

Word juxtaposition, in which the first component becomes part of the compound without undergoing any change (if there is an ending, it also becomes part of the compound; eg, zalju-hidnyj `pitiful', kil'ka-poverxovyj `several-storied'), is not very productive in the inflectional parts of speech, except in the derivation of compound numerals (eg, dvisti sorok p'jat' `245', dvisti sorok p'jat'ox `245' gen), but it is normal in the derivation of prepositions (eg, ponad `above', z-pid `from under'), particles (xiba z bo `unless'), and interjections (tap-talap `plop'). The derivation of substantives, especially of the names of states, institutions, organizations, and positions, allows for several types of abbreviation.

In the Ukrainian language compounding is a common type of word formation, and several types of compounds exist, both in terms of compounded parts of speech and of the way of the formation of a compound.

Compound nouns may be agglutinative compounds, hyphenated compounds (стіл-книга 'folded table' lit. 'table-book', i.e., «book-like table»), or abbreviated compounds (portmanteaux: колхоз). Some compounds look like portmanteaux, while in fact they are an agglutinations of type stem + word: «Академістечко» (from «akademichesky gorodok» 'Academic Townlet', i.e., Academic Village). In agglutinative compound nouns, an agglutinating infix is typically used: пароплав 'steamship': пар + о + плав. Compound nouns may be created as noun+noun, adjective+noun, noun+adjective (rare), noun+verb (or, rather, noun+verbal noun).

Compound adjectives may be formed either per se, e.g., «біло-рожевий» 'white-pink' or as a result of compounding.

4. Contrastive analysis of compound adjectives in Ukrainian and English languages

The object of the investigation is compound adjectives. Some introduction methods of gathering data, how you are going to classify or analyse them.

Structural classification given below is based on the componential analysis of the gathered compound adjectives. Such types have been differentiated:


1. Snowwhite

1. Білосніжний

2. Oil rich

2. Олійний

3. World-famous

3. Всесвітньовідомий

4. Wafer-thin

4. Тонкий

5. Sky-high

5. Височезний

6. Doom-laden

6. Навантажений

7. Camera-shy

7. Соромязливий (боятись публічно виступати)

8. Paper-thin

8. Тонкий

9. Dirt-cheap

9. Дуже дешевий

10. Lovelorn

10. Нещасливе кохання

11. Seaworthy

11.Гідний моря

12. Footsore

12Стерті ноги

13. Seasick

13. Морська хвороба

14. Trustworthy

14. Надійний

15. Bookworthy

15. Вартий видання


1. Blackberry

1. Ожина

2. Blackboard

2. Дошка

3. Second-class

3. Другий клас

4. Strawberry

4. Полуниця

5. Modern-day

5. Сучасний

6. Low-level

6. Незначний, скромний, низького рівня

7. Long-time

7. Довгостроковий

8. Long-face

8. Сумний

9. Deep-sea

9. Глибоководний

10. High-speed

10. Швидкий

11. High-grade

11. Високоякісний

12. Highbrow


13. Full-page

13. На всю сторінку

14. Full-size

14. Стандартний розмір

15. Fast-food

15. Шкідлива їжа

16. Backyard

16. Заднє подвіря

17. Half-seas-over

17. Спянілий

18. Swimsuits

18. Купальник

19. Free-range

19. Доступний

20. Last minute

20.В останню мить

From these two tables it is evident that meanings of compound adjectives in English and Ukrainian language are in some ways different. The contrastive analysis shows that only …………of this compound adjectives type in English correspond to compounds in Ukrainian. However a big part of words have descriptive equivalents. There are ….compounds identical in structure and meaning.


1. Grey-green


2. Blue-green

2. Голубо-зелений

3. Light-blue

3. Світло зелений

4. Dark-blue

4. Синій

5. Reddish-orange

5. Оранжевий

6. Wishy-washy

6.Рідкий, водянистий


7. Байдужий

8. Set-up

8. Веселий

9. Peachy-pink

9.Ніжно персиковий

10. Dark-green

10. Темно-зелений

11. White-hot

11. Розпечений

12. Iron-grey

12. Металічний

13. Bitter-sweet


14. Deaf-mute

14. Глухонімий

15. Netty-gritty


16. Anglo-Saxon

14. Англо-саксонський

17. Light-green

17. Салатовий

18. Pell-mell

18. Неакуратний

Thus, we can see that adjective plus adjective combination is used particulary in colours. It is pertinent for the Ukrainian language. Meanings are almostequivalent. The way of word formation is the same nearly in all cases.


1. Forthwith


2. Over-ripe

2. Перезрілий

3. Over-responsive

3. Надмірно чутливий

4. Overabudant

4. Надмірний

5. Overprotective

5. Надміру захищений

6. Underage

6. Неповнолітній

7. Outsized

7. Нестандартний

In this table predominate adjectives which characterize human temper. In the English languge majority of words have at the same time several meanings which shows that the Ukrainian language is richer in equivalents.

Adjective+past participle

1. Long-legged

1. Довгі ноги

2. Three-headed

2. Триголовий

3. Bow-legged

3. Кривоногий

4. Three - cornered

4. Трикутний

5. Baby-faced

5. Дитяча зовнішність

6. Stone-faced

6. Камяне обличчя

7. Brokenhearted

7. Убитий горем

8. Cold-hearted

8. Безсердечний

9. Kind-hearted

9. Щиросердний

10. Lop-eared

10. Клаповухий

11. Tight-lipped

11. Потайливий, мовчазний

12. Chicken-livered

12. Боягузливий

13. Stiff-necked

13. Упертий

14. Hard-boiled

14. Суворий, досвідчений

15. Hard-fisted

15. Сильний, жорстокий

16. Thin-skinned

16. Тонкошкірий, чутливий

17. Short-tempered

17. Нестримний, гарячий

18. Smooth-tongued

18. Солодкомовний, підлесливий

19. Long-winded

19. Докучливий, одноманітний

20. Old-fashioned

20. Старомодний

21. Deeply-rooted

21. Глибокий (про почуття)

22. Well-behaved

22. Дисциплінований, добре вихований

23. Open-minded

23. Неупереджений, сприйнятливий

24. Well-educated

24. Освічений

25. Broad-minded


26. Well-advised

26. Розважливий, розсудливий

27. Well-known

27.Відомий, популярний

28. Candy-striped

28. Полосатий

29. Well-mannered

29. Вихований

30. Green-eyed

30. Зеленоокий

This type abounds in English whereas in Ukrainian equivalents are not compound. Analysing them semantically, they describe human appearance and temper mainly, in the result of investigation I understood that mostly all compound adjectives describing human appearance are adjectives plus past participle or adjectives plus present participle. The contrastive analysis shows that Ukrainian adjectives are formed largely by adding affixes and suffixes.

Adjective+present participle

1. Long-lasting

1. Довготривалий

2. Never-ending

2. Безкінечний

3. Far-reaching

3. Далекосяжний

4. Good-loking

4. Гарний, красивий, приємний

5. Free-standing

5. Самостійний

6. Low-ranking

6. Низького рангу

7. Labour-saving

7. раціоналізаторський

8. Mouth watering

8. Смачний

9. Record-breaking

9. Вражаючий

Adjectives plus present participle in general have more full equivalents, ways of word formation in some way are the same but Ukrainian words are generally not compounds.


The main aim of this course paper was to make contrastive analysis of English and Ukrainian compound adjectives, to reveal differences and similarities, proper ways of translating these adjectives from one language into another. Appropriate equivalence of compound adjectives and their forms is very important to communicate the needed ideas and actions in mind properly.

This research has shown that in Ukrainian variety of compound adjectives is smaller and adjectives that are compound in the English language in Ukrainian are formed with the help of prefixes, suffixes or merely are word combinations.

In both English and Ukrainian according to valency analysis adjective-forming suffixes can be added to noun, verbal, adjective stems and only in Ukrainian to adverbal stems. The total number of suffixes in English is bigger than in Ukrainian. That point out that Ukrainian adjective-forming suffixes bear more than one lexical meaning.

I think this points out that despite the fact that languages are different (analytical and synthetical) the amount of suffixes in each group is approximately equal, but in Ukrainian language biger part of adjectives is built with their help, what I can not say about English language.

In the Ukrainian language a number of compound adjectives is smaller than in English.

In English new meanings of compound adjectives are created by adding prepositions (e.g. over-ripe, underage) which in the Ukrainian language have stable meanings without adding preposition, so the conclusion of this is that in English language there are more ways of creating new words, with new or similar meanings.

Hyphens in compound adjectives occur more frequently in English language especially in adjectives that are formed with past participle and present particple. In the Ukrainian language they occur mostly with words which signify coloures (голубо-зелений).

Semantic analysis allows to point out the following groups of compound adjectives.

In my investigation I analyzed compound adjectives in English and Ukrainian taking into accountstructural and semantic criteria; compared and contrasted the results of the research.


adjective ukrainian english compound

1. СУМ-Словник української мови: в 11 томах. - К: Наукова думка, 1970-1980.

2. D. Biber, S. Johansson, G. Leech, S. Conrad, E. Finegan, Peare son Education Limited 1999 «Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English»

3. Word-formation in English, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2003

4. Ellis, R. 1994. The Study of Second Language Acquisition Oxford: Oxford University Press

5. Ющук І.П. Українська мова: Підручник. - 3-тє вид. - К.:Либідь, 2006.

6. Арнольд И.В. Лексикологя современного английского языка. -3-е изд., перераб. и доп. - М.: Высшая школа, 1986.

7. Gluth E. Contrastive analysis and error analysis in respect of their treatment of the avoidance phenomend. 2003. - 271p. - [Cited 2010, 01 May]. - Available from: <>

8. English Rules - Hyphens for Compound Adjectives: Available from:

9. Using compound adjectives to give physical or metaphorical descriptions. Available from:

10. Wikipedia - English compound - Available from:

11. Your Dictionary - ESL Compound Adjective Worksheet - Available from:

12. Longman Exams Dictionary. - Essex: Pearson Longman, 2007.-1833p

13. Weinreich U. Contrastive Linguistics. - [Cited 2010, 09 May]. - Available


14. BBC World Service - Learning English - Available from:

15. Akhmanova O. Lexicology: Theory and Method.-MGU, 1972. - 297p.

16. A.S. Hornby, Fifth Edition, Oxford University Press, 1995 «Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary of Current English»

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