Classical compound  

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Classical compounds (also known as neoclassical compounds, and combining forms) are compound words composed from Latin or Ancient Greek root words. A large portion of the technical and scientific lexicon of English and other Western European languages, such as international scientific vocabulary, consists of classical compounds. For example, bio- combines with -graphy to form biography. A vowel usually facilitates the combination: in biography, the Greek thematic vowel -o-, in miniskirt, the Latin thematic -i-. This vowel is usually regarded as attached to the initial base (bio-, mini-) rather than the final base (-graphy, -skirt), but in Greek-derived forms it is sometimes shown as attached to the final base (-ography, -ology). If, however, the final base begins with a vowel (for example, -archy as in monarchy), the mediating vowel has traditionally been avoided (no *monoarchy), but in recent coinages it is often kept and generally accompanied by a hyphen (auto-analysis, bio-energy, hydro-electricity, not *autanalysis, *bienergy, *hydrelectricity).

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