Tid: Måndag 24 september 2018, kl 15:00-17:00
Plats: C307, Södra huset, Frescati


This presentation discusses foundational issues in nominalization, focusing on empirical, conceptual, and theoretical problems that have plagued the field for years.  Current definitions of nominalization are based on narrow observations on verbal-based nominalizations, while languages across the globe display nominal-based ones, many of which share morphology with the former. We demonstrate that a major instance of N-based nominalization is the so-called genitive case/possessive form (my/mine, John’s) and claim that the genitive is derivational rather than inflectional, contrary to the time honored treatment of it in traditional grammar. Nominalization morphology in many languages also applies to units larger than words, yielding grammatical nominalizations besides better-known lexical nominalizations. The imbalance in the past studies, which have focused on so-called relative clauses at the expense of grammatical nominalizations, has resulted in a lopsided view on the relationship between the two, leading to the mishandling of different manifestations of nominalizations as if they are derivatives of relative clauses, as suggested by the widely used terms such as “headless relative clause” and “internally-headed relative clause”.  It is demonstrated, with various descriptive and theoretical ramifications in relation to the past influential studies such as Keenan and Comrie (1977), that even what is known as a relative clause does not exist as an independent structure apart from a use, the modification-use, of a type of nominalization, namely grammatical argument nominalizations. It is shown that a clear distinction between structures and their use is a theoretical prerequisite in arriving at a satisfactory understanding of the nature of grammatical nominalizations and their role in grammar.

Hjärtligt välkomna!
Richard Kowalik