Document Type : علمی- پژوهشی


AssociateProfessor/ Department of Ancient Culture and Languages of Tabriz University,Iran


Compounding is one of the prosesses of word-formation in some languages. Because simple words and derivatives satisfy just a part of the speakers’ need of vocabulary, the speakers are forced to make compound words using the available language elements and compounding patterns. These patterns always have certain rules and criterions and each language uses them in it’s syntactic structures and historical backgrounds. Hence, no two languages, even two sibling languages or those that one of them is derived from the other one, can be found to have the same rules of compounding. Among the Persian contemporary poets, Mehdi Akhavan-sales with the full knowledge of Persian language, has created a large number of compound words and used them in his poetry . This knowledge, which is the product of scrutinizing the old and new Persian literary texts has resulted in the words being structured in accordance with the rules of compounding in Persian language. So far, no research has been carried out on the various types of Akhavan’s compounds. In this research by extracting compound words from several books of this poet, these words are categorized structurally and the poet’s approach to the structures are evaluated.


Persian Nominal Compound Structures and Compound Words of M. Omid

Mohammad hasan Jalalian Chaleshtari

Associate professor of University of Tabriz



Every innovation and invention, which occurs in human life, requires the necessity of choosing a name for itself. New ideas, social developments, and technological innovations in a human society, all incorporate elements into the lives of people, and the people of that society have to choose names for these new elements. The speakers of Indo-European languages have chosen different ways for these nominations. One way is to use the existing language words. This way is itself divided into three categories: The first is the use of the existing language words and applying them for the emerging phenomena, without changing their appearance. The application of older words separ, yaxčâl and savâr for the new phenomena which are the results of the modern technology, are examples of this method in Persian. Another way is affixation. In this way, some morphemes are added to the simple words. The role of these morphemes is only to construct new words and they themselves cannot be used as simple words. These morphemes are divided into three categories: prefix, infix, and suffix. Although these affixes belong to a closed list in terms of number and variety, their role in construction of new words is crucial and the words created through them comprise a considerable number of language words. Words made in this way are called derivative words. Another way of generating new words is to combine simple or derivative words and create compound words. Since simple words and affixation meet only part of the vocabulary needs, language speakers are always required to make compounds using existing elements through following the combination patterns of the language. The words that emerge in this way are independent words that are different from the syntactic groups and are assigned independent entries in the dictionaries. Only two components are used in making these words, and no more than two components can be made. This means that, for example, if there are three words in a compound structure, two of them previously form a compound word or a nominal group and enter the new structure as single and independent rather than separate words. Different languages ​​have their own set of rules for making compound words, and each language uses them based on their syntactic and historical structures. Therefore no two languages, even the sister languages ​​or languages ​​that are branched from one another, can be found to have exactly the same compound rules. As sub-branch of Indo-European languages, Iranian languages ​​also retain overall compound structures of their ancestor, and Farsi as the largest existing survivor of Iranian languages ​​(both in terms of number of speakers and in terms of surviving texts) is the faithful heir of the compound structures of its predecessor, the Middle Persian language, and has often preserved them with slight modifications which are inevitable in language changes.


Among contemporary poets, Mehdi Akhavan Sales, by acquiring a complete linguistic ability in Persian, has created a remarkable number of compound words and used them in his poetry. This ability, derived from his expertise in ancient and modern Persian literary texts, has made these words, along with the beauty and elegance of poetry, have structures well-suited to the rules of composition in Persian. Although the reviewers of Akhavan’s poetry regard this point as one of the prominent features of this poet's poetry and have repeatedly mentioned this in various books and articles, no research has been conducted on the different types of constructions used in Akhavan’s compounds and the extent of this poet's adherence to the compound criteria of the Persian language or his innovations in this field has not been measured.


In this article, after a short overview of compound analysis approaches and a brief report and criticism of previous researchers' views on compounds of Persian languages, the major categories of compounds in Iranian languages ​​are introduced and for each category some examples of Persian are presented. The categorization presented in this paper differs greatly from what previous scholars have brought up in terms of naming some categories and their content analysis. The categories for compound words are as follows: 1) Possessive: includes words that somehow have the meaning of ownership. The words in this category are exocentric, this means that no one of the constituents determine the meaning and grammatical category of the whole word. 2) Determinative: in the words of this category, which unlike the possessive compounds, are endocentric, the nucleus and the dependent have either a genitive or an attributive relation. 3) With verbal second constituent: in this category the second component is either a verb stem or a verbal derivative. 4) Agglutinative: includes compound words that are created not by following the compositional rules, but by attaching and sticking together of the elements of sentences. In this attachment, generally the elements such as those which indicate the relation of these words in the sentence (for example: prepositions and relative article) are deleted and sometimes retained. 5) With governing first constituent: includes a relatively limited set of compounds, in which the nucleus or the governing component is either a preposition or a present stem or a present participle. In Dari Farsi and even in Middle Persian, there is no evidence of the use of present stem or past participle, and this construction is exclusively for ancient languages.


 After this introduction, the compounds of several collections of poetry by Mehdi Akhavan Sales are studied, and their degree of conformity and compatibility with the compound categories and also the extent of the tendency of the poet to each of the categories are evaluated.

Keywords: Akhavan Sales, Compound Words, Possessive, Determinative, Agglutinative, Connective, Copulative.


Main Subjects

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