Meaning of inversion compound in English:

inversion compound


  • A type of compound in which the conventional or expected order of the elements is reversed, as when an adjective or other modifier is placed after the noun it qualifies; especially a compound place name consisting of a generic topographical element followed by a personal name or title indicating ownership or association (or, less frequently, a postmodifying adjective).

    Inversion compounds are typically indicative of syntactic influence from another language. They are originally and most frequently discussed in the study of the place names of northern Britain and Ireland, where they reflect the regular word order of noun phrases in the Celtic languages; in some cases (and probably originally) these show substitution of a Germanic element for an earlier Celtic one, as in the name of Kirkdominie, Ayrshire (probably lit. ‘the Lord's church’), which is recorded in 1404 as Kildomine (with the first element reflecting Scottish Gaelic cill church).


Early 20th century.