What makes compound splitting for German a challenging task is the fact that compounding is not always simple string concatenation, but often involves the presence of intervening linking elements or the elision of word-final characters in the modifier constituent of a compound (Henrich & Hinrichs, 2011). In GermaNet, all modifiers are lemmatized and if a modifier is ambiguous with respect to its word class (due to conversion), both possibilities are specified:
- Laufschuhe: lauf- (en) [verb] and (der) Lauf [noun]
- Baustelle: bau- (en) [verb] and (der) Bau [noun]
Compound splitting in GermaNet is supported by an automatic algorithm, which combines several individual compound splitters. Please see the referenced paper below for more information on the automatic splitting. All automatically split compounds are manually post-corrected and enriched with relevant properties before they are inserted into GermaNet.
The following properties are specified for modifiers and/or heads:
If one part of the compound is an abbreviation, it is labelled as Abkürzung.
Affixoids are morphemes with a special status between bound and free morphemes. As they have a clearly assigned meaning, it makes sense to split the respective words. The bound morpheme is labelled as Affixoid.
If one part (or more) of the compound is not a German word, it is labelled as Fremdwort. Note that those constituents which are borrowed words but are nowadays used as loanwords defined in a standard German dictionary (such as Duden) are not considered as foreign words in GermaNet (e.g. Drink and Pool in the examples below).
|Longydrink||long (foreign word)||Drink|
|Swimmingpool||swimming (foreign word)||Pool|
|Logdatei||log (foreign word)||Datei|
The label Konfix refers to a word which is borrowed from a foreign language, in many cases from Latin or Greek, and whose meaning stems from that particular language. Konfixes are bound morphemes, but in opposition to all other affixes two Konfixes can be combined to form a so-called Konfixkompositum. Those Konfixkomposita are not split in GermaNet, whereas compounds existing of a Konfix and a native word are split.
Modifiers whose meaning is not transparent any more without considering the etymology of the word are labelled with the property opaques Morphem.
|Himbeere||Him (opaque morpheme)||Beere|
|Karfreitag||Kar (opaque morpheme)||Freitag|
|Sintflut||Sint (opaque morpheme)||Flut|
|Lebkuchen||Leb (opaque morpheme)||Kuchen|
|Elfenbein||Elfen (opaque morpheme)||Bein|
If the whole compound is a named entity, it is not split in GermaNet. If only the modifier is a proper name, the compound is split and the label Eigenname is added to the modifier.
|Hubbleteleskop||Hubble (proper name)||Teleskop|
|Wertherstimmung||Werther (proper name)||Stimmung|
|Hiobsbotschaft||Hiob (proper name)||Botschaft|
Virtual Word Form
Virtual word forms, labelled as Virtuelle Bildung, are regularly built according to existing word formation rules. However, they do not exist in isolation, but only as part of a compound.
|Einflussnahme||Einfluss||Nahme (virtual word form)|
|Fragesteller||Frage||Steller (virtual word form)|
|Farbgebung||Farbe||Gebung (virtual word form)|
Modifiers consisting of a phrase are marked as Wortgruppe and the parts of the phrase are annotated as the modifier.
|Dreiwege-Katalysator||drei Weg (word group)||Katalysator|
|Nacht-und-Nebel-Aktion||Nacht und Nebel (word group)||Aktion|
|Pro-Kopf-Einkommen||pro Kopf (word group)||Einkommen|
The following table gives an overview of the constituent parts of a compound (i.e. modifier and head) and the corresponding properties that are annotated for each constituent in GermaNet:
|Virtual Word Form||x|
In addition to the information described above that is included in GermaNet (since release 8.0), a list of split compounds with their modifier(s) and head is freely available for download here:
- GermaNet v16.0 (2021): list of 106780 split nominal compounds
- GermaNet v15.0 (2020): list of 98905 split nominal compounds (Updated June 15, 2020, with corrections)
- GermaNet v14.0 (2019): list of 91106 split nominal compounds
- GermaNet v13.0 (2018): list of 82309 split nominal compounds
- GermaNet v12.0 (2017): list of 74990 split nominal compounds
- GermaNet v11.0 (2016): list of 66059 split nominal compounds (v11.0: Updated Feb. 16, 2017)
- GermaNet v10.0 (2015): list of 54569 split nominal compounds
- GermaNet v9.0 (2014): list of 54759 split nominal compounds
- GermaNet v8.0 (2013): list of 40437 split nominal compounds
(v8.0: Original list released on May 31, 2013, updated on June 12, 2013.)
The list of compound data is free for academic research as defined in GermaNet's academic research licence agreement. For any other intended purposes, please contact us.
The format of these split compounds is one compound per line: first the compound itself, then a <tab> space, then the modifier (in case of two modifiers, these are separated by the pipe (|) symbol), then a <tab> space again, and finally the head. For example:
Apfelbaum Apfel Baum
Goldmünze Gold Münze
Laufband laufen|Lauf Band
The following paper describes the automatic compound splitting that is performed before the manual post-correction. If you want to use the split compounds in the context of scientific or research work, please refer to the paper:
Verena Henrich and Erhard Hinrichs: Determining Immediate Constituents of Compounds in GermaNet. In Proceedings of Recent Advances in Natural Language Processing (RANLP 2011), Hissar, Bulgaria, September 2011, pp. 420-426.