In the [STRIKE]word[/STRIKE] phrase "junior high school", what's the compound noun - "high school" no comma here or "junior high school"?
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I don't agree. A high school is not a school that is high. The two words together make up a noun that is used for a school that takes children of certain ages. I think the same is true of the three words that make up junior high school.
The three words junior high school together constitute the compound noun. It's called a compound noun because the head (school) is a noun.
I think so, yes. The junior bit tells us what kind of high school it is.
The interesting and frustrating thing for me about word classes and labels is that there are no indisputably correct answers. A mammologist may be able to tell us whether mammal A is a sheep or a goat, and a lepidopterist may be able to tell us where insect B is a butterfly or a moth, and be reasonably certain that fellow mammologists/lepidopterists will agree. Some grammarians, however, spend half their professional lives arguing about labels. In my lifetime I have seen articles expelled from the adjective class, determiners (or determinatives) come into existence and, for some grammarians, many adverbs become prepositions. I shall doubtless live to see a few more changes.And Catholic in Catholic junior high school tells us what kind of junior high school it is. But is Catholic junior high school another compound noun?
And Catholic in Catholic junior high school tells us what kind of junior high school it is. But is Catholic junior high school another compound noun?
The junior bit tells us what kind of high school it is.
That analysis makes a lot of sense, jutfrank.I'd say no because Catholic doesn't modify the meaning of the thing in the same way. Unlike high and junior high, the modifier Catholic does not contribute the kind of meaning that identifies how the school fits into the school system.
This is how I see it: There are high schools and then there are junior high schools. These are two semantically distinct classes of school within the school system.
The perspective I adopted was that "high" denotes "secondary," "secondary" picking out every grade after primary school. Primary school comprises kindergarten through the sixth grade, and secondary school comprises the seventh through the twelfth grade. Secondary ("high") school has two subsets, composed of grades 7-8 and 9-12, respectively, the former being junior high school and the latter senior high school. In this light, both "junior high school" and "senior high school" are species of "high school." There is no such thing as a high school that is not a senior high school or a junior high school.Importantly, this view does not count 'junior high school' as a hyponym of 'high school', which is how I think you're viewing things, Phaedrus, shown by your point that 'high school' is glossed as equivalent to 'senior high school'.
I agree with that from the standpoint of everyday speech. I should say that almost no one in the U.S. uses "senior high school" in conversation. I suspect that "senior high school" is used mainly in formal institutional communications written by school-district administrators (superintendents and so forth). The rest of us just say "high school" instead, and there is never any ambiguity as to whether the speaker is referring to a school for grades 9-12 or to a school for grades 7 and 8. "High school" unambiguously refers to the former, and "junior high" to the latter. Interestingly, most of us use "junior high" without "school" at the end, but "high school" always includes the words "school." I tell people I went to Goleta Valley Junior High and then to Dos Pueblos High School. I usually don't include "School" as part of the former name and never include "Senior" as part of the latter. It was a revelation to me yesterday to recall that "senior" is technically part of "high school."In other words, according to my view, a 'junior high school' is not a kind of 'high school'—it's a kind of school whose meaning is actually contrastive to 'high school'.
Your posts here have been informative, Phaedrus, but I am not sure whether you, personally, think of high school and junior high school as compound nouns. I'd be interested to know.
(Don't worry - I am not going to attempt to prove you wrong; I am not even sure that my own opinion is 'correct')