The central problem that is investigated in this study relates to the various elements which may appear in compounds in Northern Sotho. Problems of semantic drift in compounds and the semantic relation between the parts in a compound are also investigated. The study investigates problems relating to the morpho-syntactic and semantic properties of the nominal compounds from the viewpoint of morphology and semantics. It is important to realize that the meaning of a compound is usually to some extent compositional although it is often not predictable. It is possible to understand how the individual parts of the compound contribute to the meaning of the whole. The central issue in this study relates to the head of the compound, i.e. whether compounds are endocentric (with a word) or exocentric (without a head). This is meant for tertiary education.