Benczes, Réka 2012

Benczes, Réka. 2012. Just a Load of Hibber-Gibber? Making Sense of English Rhyming Compounds. Australian Journal of Linguistics 32. 299–326.

  author   = {Benczes, Réka},
  journal  = {Australian Journal of Linguistics},
  number   = {3},
  pages    = {299–326},
  title    = {Just a Load of Hibber-Gibber? Making Sense of English Rhyming Compounds},
  url      = {},
  volume   = {32},
  year     = {2012},
  abstract = {Rhyming compounds, such as helter-skelter or prime time, where the two constituents that make up the compound itself rhyme with one another, are one of the least investigated categories of English word formation. While they have been a regular feature of English for centuries, and are a common phenomenon in present-day English, too, they have often been overlooked in the literature on the grounds that they are a marginal, playful feature of the English language, which do not merit a systematic and proper analysis in their own right. However, there is much more to rhyming compounds than meets the eye. The paper challenges the marginality of rhyming compounds in general, and demonstrates that the meaning of such compounds is inextricably linked to the rhyming quality, i.e. the form. By an in-depth analysis of the five major semantic categories that lexicalized rhyming compounds denote, the paper comes to the conclusion that rhyme can be associated with four primary functions: imitation; intensification; diminution; and unconventionality. It is argued that these four functions lie at the heart of the semantic motivation of English rhyming compounds, thereby illustrating yet another facet of the non-arbitrariness of language.},
  doi      = {10.1080/07268602.2012.705577},
  inlg     = {English [eng]},
  issn     = {0726-8602},
  lgcode   = {Khmu [kjg] (computerized assignment from "just")},
  src      = {haspelmath}