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In dispute tribunal, dispute is singular since it describes tribunal, similar to book shelf.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noun_adjunct

Is the following accepted as well:

Disputes Tribunal | Disputes Tribunal of New Zealand

https://disputestribunal.govt.nz/


EDIT

I also want to point out that some pages on the website contains dispute tribunal:

https://www.disputestribunal.govt.nz/disputes-decision-finder/?Filter_Jurisdiction=26

Google "dispute tribunal" (with quotes) to see more.

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  • It's acceptable if it's a tribunal for disputes. I mean, are you really questioning the properness of the New Zealand government's English grammar? Are you really suggesting you may know better than the native speakers who administer the government of New Zealand, especially seeing as how these particular native speakers are all lawyers and judges even, the law being the one profession of all professions that is most dependent on language and grammar and so whose practitioners are both famously and infamously maximumly pedantic and exacting in their use of proper language and grammar? Jun 19 at 1:16
  • Is it also acceptable if it a shelf for books? I see your point, but I guess I am. I doubt all these respectable people had a hand in picking the name, and it could be an unfortunate historical mistake. Also, "The Disputes Tribunal is an informal forum that..." Maybe it's very informal... Lastly, see my edit.
    – Zohar Levi
    Jun 19 at 9:01
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In dispute tribunal we have noun 1 + noun 2 in which noun one acts attributively/adjectivally upon noun 2.

Thus dispute tribunal = a/the tribunal associated with dispute. (Here, "dispute is uncountable, hence singular.) The plural would be "dispute tribunals" - the plural being indicated by the inflection of main noun.

In disputes tribunal we have the same noun 1 + noun 2 - it just happens that noun 1 is plural. BUT because it is acting adjectivally, it does not affect, in number, the main noun "tribunal" - it simply means "a/the tribunal associated with disputes. (Here, "disputes is countable, hence plural.) The plural would be disputes tribunals - the plural being indicated by the inflection of main noun.

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  • I was under the impression that noun adjuncts are singular. For example, are you fine with "books shelf" and "cars park"?
    – Zohar Levi
    Jun 24 at 7:40
  • @ZoharLevi They are chiefly, but not always, singular and the nouns 1 noun 2 combination is sometimes difficult to distinguish from noun 1's noun2 construction: the former is usually a name, whereas the latter is a description of noun 2.
    – Greybeard
    Jun 24 at 9:33
  • '[Attributive nouns] are chiefly, but not always, singular.' So there needs to be a reference showing that disputes tribunal is more idiomatic than books shelf (which is unacceptable). A Google ngrams search leads to various examples. Jun 24 at 13:25
  • @EdwinAshworth So there needs to be a reference showing that disputes tribunal is more idiomatic than books shelf * - I think you mean *an explanation of the properties of attributive nouns - I refrained from this as this is ELL and the categorisation requires a lot of examples but I would offer you "people carrier" as a plural and "trouser press" as a strange singular.
    – Greybeard
    Jun 24 at 17:21
  • Plural-form attributive nouns have already been covered on ELU (which is where this question would belong, were it not largely a duplicate). Yes, the rule of thumb is that attributive nouns default to singular-form. But there are a significant number of exceptions, and each pairing (price war; wages clerk ...) needs to be examined for idiomaticity. Sometimes, there is a choice between the singular-form and the plural-form attributive. But don't put words into my mouth; there needs to be a reference showing that disputes tribunal is more idiomatic than books shelf is what I meant. Jun 25 at 11:47

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