The aim of this paper is to analyze German N + N compounds consisting of nominal roots [hence N + N compounds] within the theory of Role and Reference Grammar [RRG] (Van Valin and LaPolla 1997, Van Valin 2005). The basis for this analysis of German N + N compounds is the Layered Structure of the Word [LSW] as developed in Nolan (2010). The LSW is analogous to the Layered Structure of the Clause [LSC] and the Layered Structure of the Noun Phrase [LSNP] as they are used in RRG. Besides the description of German N + N compounds, this paper investigates the role of the lexicon, the necessity of a semantic structure of lexemes - based on Pustejovsky’s notion of qualia structures (Pustejovsky 1995) - and the use of inheritance hierarchies in a description of inflectional morphology and the use of interfixes. The paper also investigates the use of Constructional Schemas (CSs) as developed in Nolan (2010). These CSs are similar to the syntactic inventory in RRG. With help of CSs, which are part of the semantic representations of lexemes partially based on Pustejovsky’s qualia structures, it will be possible to show how lexical entries for nouns are constructed. These lexical entries are stored in the lexeme store, which is part of the lexicon. The paper will show that the analysis of German N + N compounds based on the use of the LSW is compatible with the RRG-conception of the LSC and the LSNP.

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