NOMINAL COMPOUNDS IN TECHNICAL ENGLISH
An important feature of technical English is a sequence of modifiers placed in front of the final noun, the head noun. These structures, called (lexicalised) noun phrases or nominal compounds, are very productive and they are mainly used as text compression devices. Since the number of modifiers is not limited, rather long and complex structures found in scientific and technical texts may cause ambiguity, difficulties in comprehension or even misinterpretation. In this paper, complex noun phrases extracted from technical English textbooks and scientific papers in the field of electrical and computer engineering are classified into two groups depending on what elements they consist of, i.e., i) different-component compounds, and ii) noun compounds. We also discuss the problem of the analysis and interpretation of the meaning of nominal compounds since these issues usually pose major challenges for the translation of scientific texts written in English into Croatian.
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