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Noun compounds in the language of Harry Martinson : a study in creative word-formation and usage

Green, Brita Elisabet


Brita Elisabet Green


Philip, 1944 Holmes


This investigation began as frustration - frustration, during my attempts at translating Harry Martinson's poetry at being unable to find adequate English equivalents for most of his compounds. The frustration developed into curiosity about the nature of the compounds and their use. The thesis is the result of that curiosity.

I have studied the compounds from both linguistic and stylistic points of view. One chapter concerns numbers. Very nearly 4,500 (some 3,500 different) noun compounds have been excerpted from almost 92,000 words of Harry Martinson's published poetry. In addition, some thousand compounds have been excerpted from the manuscript poems in the Harry Martinson archive in Uppsala University Library. Whereas every attempt has been made to be accurate in word-counts and calculations, comparisons across tables may reveal minor discrepancies. Manually calculated figures do not always exactly match the numbers indicated by computer calculations. This may be a result of human error, whether in the manual calculations or in the typing in of the data, but it may also be caused by such factors as compounds appearing in prose passages and section titles (included in some calculations, not in others) or in poems included in more than one collection. In small-scale manual calculations, allowance can be made for such factors, but it is not usually possible to foresee all the repercussions of such adjustments on all other calculations and tables. I am confident that the discrepancies are in no case of a magnitude to affect the conclusions drawn from the figures.


Green, B. E. (1989). Noun compounds in the language of Harry Martinson : a study in creative word-formation and usage. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Apr 14, 2016
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Scandinavian studies
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Scandinavian Studies, The University of Hull
Award Date May 1, 1989


Thesis (36.8 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 1989 Green, Brita Elisabet. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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