The present paper provides a corpus-based cognitive analysis of a marginal but productive construction in contemporary English consisting of the Latin particle cum linking nouns/noun phrases (e.g. pub-cum-hotel, mad-scientist-cum-travelling showman) or adjectives/adjective phrases in an attributive position (e.g. philosophic-cum-economic tinge, feverishly readable post-apocalyptic-cum-vampire chiller). A systematic investigation of the various morpho-syntactic and semantic patterns of the cum-construction is carried out followed by a study of the cognitive motivations behind its use within the framework of conceptual blending theory. The cum-construction is analysed with respect to the broader phenomenon of compounding in order to observe what function it serves compared to similar and more established formations, in particular co-ordinate compounds (e.g. butler-chauffeur). The position taken here is that specific pragmatic strategies, namely the intention to express humour and/or ironical disapproval, motivate the production of the cum-construction, which is the result of a ‘forced’ mapping process between the mental frames evoked by the named elements. The cum-construction is not just an ad-hoc and creative word combination with temporary relevance, but also an established formation in specific discourse contexts, especially sport (e.g. cross-cum-shot), and in technical domains (e.g. silt vanes-cum-curved wing).
Franceschi, D. (2013). The cum-construction in present-day English. RIVISTA DI LINGUISTICA, 25, 221-260.