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1. Of or relating to a group of syntactically related words, at least one of which is functionally equivalent to the function of the whole group. For example, the noun table in the noun phrase the old table is endocentric because it has the same grammatical function as the whole noun phrase.
2. Of or relating to a compound word whose referent is the same as the referent of one of its constituent parts. For example, the noun blackboard is endocentric in that it refers to a type of board.


(Grammar) grammar (of a construction) fulfilling the grammatical role of one of its constituents; as in three blind mice, where the whole noun phrase fulfils the same role as its head noun mice. Compare exocentric


(ˌɛn doʊˈsɛn trɪk)

(of a construction or compound) having the same syntactic function in a sentence as its chief constituent, as cold water, which functions as would the noun water. Compare exocentric.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.endocentric - fulfilling the grammatical role of one of its constituents; "when `three blind mice' serves as a noun it is an endocentric construction"
grammar - the branch of linguistics that deals with syntax and morphology (and sometimes also deals with semantics)
exocentric - not fulfilling the same grammatical role of any of its constituents; "when `until last Easter' serves as an adverb it is an exocentric construction"
References in periodicals archive ?
Even though endocentric nominal compounds in Igala generally obey Left-Hand head rule (N1 as head), synthetic compounds in Igala, it has been observed, exhibit the possibility for either Left-Hand head position or Right-Hand head position.
Hittite has a few endocentric determinative compounds, tatpurusaa and karmadharayas (e.
the most traditional and pervasive classification of compounds in linguistic literature is based on the work of Leonard Bloomfield (1933), who suggested that compounds fall into two main groups, namely endocentric and exocentric.
Within the endocentric group a further distinction is made between right centred and left centred compounds.
This paper proposes a unified account of headship assignment in Spanish endocentric compounds with a nominal non-head.
The predicate is the kernel of the narrative predication, which is an endocentric construction.
It has often been assumed that the Samhitas provide evidence for an original determinative compound with endocentric function 'reaching of old age, attainment of old age', which was secondarily employed as a bahuvrihi 'whose reaching is of old age, having attainment of old age', but, as we have seen, RV 7.
This was, incidentally, also recognised by American structuralist Immediate Constituent analysis in connection with endocentric constructions (cf.
Despite great emphasis on cross-categorial generalizations, the X-bar schema is not carried over to an endocentric analysis of the entire clause, but it stops at the VP-level without any motivation (cf.
Notice that headedness and percolation are responsible for transmitting the gender value of the right-hand member to the compound word only in endocentric compounds like the ones listed under (20).
The claim that many exocentric compounds function as modifiers within noun phrases (free-lance writer, long-nose pliers, stopgap measures) gives indirect support to Stekauer's (1998) proposal according to which exocentric compounds are regularly generated in the word-formation component as endocentric compounds (sabertooth + tiger, redskin + person, free-lance + writer) and are formally reduced in the lexicon with the categorial and other features being inherited from the (deleted) head noun.
Andersen argues that exocentric (internally based) change may lead to divergence oR convergence between two languages or dialects in contact, while endocentric (externally based) change can ONLY lead to convergence.