Background and activities

Project description

My project looks at the mechanism of compounding in Norwegian. Some examples of Norwegian compound words are løvetann 'dandelion', oppi 'up-in'/'into' and barnebokklubb 'children’s book club’. More specifically I investigate how the grammar of Norwegian compounds can inform us about the syntax-semantics interface of exoskeletal theories.

I take a special interest in the compositional semantics of this framework. Semantically, compounds can be highly compositional. They also tend to get a highly conventionalized/lexicalized meaning over time, yet at this lexicalized stage they are still recognizable as syntactically complex. Structurally, compounds seem to be located just on the border between the word level and the phrase level. Both words and phrases are thought to be built up syntactically in the exoskeletal framework, and so questions concerning the way syntax dictates semantic composition on different levels immediately arise.


Some key theoretical questions that are investigated:

  • The nature of the elements that combine in Norwegian compounds (roots, stems…)
  • Compositionality over and below the word-level
  • The relation between words and concepts
  • The semantics of roots
  • Compounding in Norwegian compared to other languages
  • Similarities between compounds and idioms

Supervisors: Terje Lohndal, Tor Anders Åfarli


Scientific, academic and artistic work

Displaying a selection of activities. See all publications in the database


  • Eik, Ragnhild; Åfarli, Tor Anders. (2014) Setningar med possessivt objekt i norsk: Ein nykonstruksjonistisk analyse av setningar som "ho trakka han på foten". 2014.


  • Eik, Ragnhild. (2017) Norwegian compounds: the category of non-heads. ConSOLE XXV ; Leipzig. 2017-01-04 - 2017-01-06.
  • Eik, Ragnhild. (2017) Norwegian compounds: the category of non-heads. Meeting of the Research Group on (Experimental) Syntax and Heritage Languages . Research Group on (Experimental) Syntax and Heritage Languag; Berlin. 2017-01-18.
  • Eik, Ragnhild. (2016) Norwegian compounds: linkers and categories. Indo-Norwegian Syntax Workshop ; 2016-09-12 - 2016-09-13.
  • Eik, Ragnhild. (2016) The possessor raising construction in Norwegian. An exoskeletal account. SynVar3 ; Delhi. 2016-10-10 - 2016-10-14.
  • Eik, Ragnhild. (2015) Compounding in Norwegian. Departmental seminar ; 2015-11-16.
  • Eik, Ragnhild. (2015) Grammatisk analyse av setningar med possessivt objekt. MONS 16 (Møte om norsk språk) . Universitetet i Agder; Kristiansand. 2015-11-25 - 2015-11-27.