Noun Compounds in Dene
Recent work on Athapaskan languages, including Dene, has focussed mainly on the verb (e.g. Kari 1973, Kari 1979, Rice 1976). While this is not surprising, due to the complex nature of the verb structure and the morphophonemics involved in the verb, other categories in Dene are of interest also. In this paper, I will explore properties of compound nouns in Dene. I will show that semantic, phonological, and morphological properties of compounds converge to define two distinct types of compounding in Dene.
In part 1 of the paper, compound nouns are exemplified. Part 2 is a discussion of basic word formation and phonological processes in Dene. In part 3, the two types of compound nouns found in Dene are described along with their defining characteristics.