box set

Mark A Mandel mam at THEWORLD.COM
Wed Jan 30 20:21:32 UTC 2002

I see references to "box sets" of books and CDs rather than the "boxed
sets" I'm used to, and likewise "bottle water" instead of "bottled
water". Is there a trend to simplifying such expressions? The
generalization from these two examples would be

        N1+-ed  N2  =>  N1  N2

substituting N1, an attributive noun, for the older N1+-ed, an adjective
in the form of the past participle of the verb that is zero-derived from
the noun. To put a set of volumes in a box is to "box" them, creating a
boxed set;  similarly, to "bottle" water.

In fact, this type of N+-ed adjective meaning 'provided or equipped with
N(s)' is a productive derivation independent of the existence of any
other form of the putative verb: a tasseled curtain, many-pillared
halls. The latter example is IMHO especially difficult to explain as a
deverbal form.

Did we discuss this construction here some time ago?

-- Mark A. Mandel
   Linguist at Large

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