Copulating dvandva compounds

Thu Nov 29 12:24:25 UTC 1990

In a recent communication, Dominik Wujastyk objected to the
characterization of dvandva compounds as copulative compounds, on
the grounds that `the relationship between the member words of a
dvandva compound is certainly not the copula; it is the sense of
It may be worth pointing out, before our esteemed colleague goes
public with his denunciation of OED, that the term "copulative"
simply means "joining together" and is used by English grammarians
to refer not only to linking verbs that join subject and predicate
but also to some conjunctions. Thus the Canadian edition of Funk and
Wagnalls says sub verbo "copulative":
2.b Connecting words or clauses in a coordinate relationship: "and"
is a copulative conjunction.

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