Learned compounding, called 'confixation' by Andre Martinet, is a highly productive wordformation process in Italian that combines learned stems (from Greek or Latin) in literary style, which means that the items are arranged in order to have the head on the right, while nonlearned compounding in Romance places the head on the left. We claim that this specific internal structure, rather than the etymology of words or stems, is crucial for the definition of confixation from a synchronic point of view. According to this synchronic distinction between Romance and learned composition, we have described 1390 entries marked as 'compounds' formed after 1980 and recorded in the dictionary Gradit (De Mauro, 1999). We claim that learned compounding is much more productive than Romance compounding even in the domain of everyday language. We have also described three common ways of creating new confixes. In the final section, we discuss mirror pairs such as radiogiornale and giornale radio and propose their description.
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