Trying to speak about "logiciel libre"

Martin Keegan mk270 at
Fri May 17 14:12:08 UTC 2002

On Thu, 16 May 2002, MJ Ray wrote:

> phil hunt <philh at> wrote:
> > On Thursday 16 May 2002 12:46 am, MJ Ray wrote:
> >> ITYM "image conversion" is the noun?
> > That phrase is a noun-expression. Both "image" and "conversion" 
> > are nouns.
> But I think "image conversion" is a noun too, but a sort of compound noun. 
> A noun expression can contain adjectives too, I thought.  Is that right, or
> do I have to go digging through the linguistics books...?

It's a compound nominal, yes. That's perfectly valid in modern English,
and there's a similar thing in German (where you concatenate the words).
In French, the preference is strongly for X de Y, rather than Y X or YX.

You can analyse the English thing as "the first noun is acting as an
adjective" or say that there's a rule "noun + noun -> noun" [*]. I think
I'd say the latter, these days.


[*] or if I'm being nostalgic, "nbar + nbar -> nbar"

More information about the Discussion mailing list