Liesbeth Heyvaert: A Cognitive-Functional Approach to Nominalization in English (2003)

Julia Ulrich Julia.Ulrich at DEGRUYTER.COM
Mon Jul 21 10:07:22 UTC 2003

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>From the Series

Series Editors: René Dirven, Ronald W. Langacker, and John R. Taylor

Liesbet Heyvaert


2003. xxiv, 290 pages. Cloth. Euro 98.00 / sFr 157.00 / approx. US$ 108.00
ISBN 3-11-017809-5
(Cognitive Linguistics Research 26)

The book presents a systematic theoretical account of the fundamental constructional mechanisms that underlie deverbal nominalization in general, and it makes an original descriptive contribution by discussing a number of nominalization systems in detail. The main theoretical motif is that nom-inalization strongly calls for a functional rather than purely structural approach. The book goes more deeply into a number of functional constructs needed to model nominalization (drawn from Cognitive Grammar and Systemic-Functional Grammar) and it elaborates on the internal functional organization of nominal and clausal structure (e.g., the notions of type specification, instantiation and grounding [Langacker 1991] are discussed in detail and shown to be crucial for the analysis of deverbal nominalization). It is argued that deverbal nominalizations are basically re-classifications of verbal predicates into nominal constructions. This re-classification either applies at word rank or !
 it involves the rank shift (Halliday 1966) of a clause-like unit, with its internal structure preserved (e.g., signing the contract quickly). The re-classified unit then adopts a specific nominal strategy, with some form of nominal determination and quantification (e.g,. her signing the contract quickly). The descriptive part of the book zooms in on nominalizations that are derived at word rank (deverbal -er nominals) and on nominalizations applying to 'temporal clausal heads' (e.g,. John's playing the piano) and finite clauses. Of the gerundive and finite types of nominalization, those that function in factive contexts are focused on. In the analysis of deverbal -er nominals a case is made for a 'subject' analysis of the system and an elaborate discussion of the clausal middle construction (e.g., this book reads easily) - which is argued to show systematic resemblances with non-agentive -er nominals - is included. Of the remaining nominalization types (John's playing the p!
 iano; playing the piano; the fact that he plays the piano; that he pla
ys the piano), especially the nominal behaviour (e.g., proper name vs. common noun strategy) and - in the case of gerundive nominals - the various structural and semantic subtypes that can be distinguished among them are discussed.

Liesbet Heyvaert teaches at the University of Leuven, Belgium.

>From the Contents:

Part I Towards a theoretical-descriptive approach to nominalization

1. Introduction
2. Theoretical assumptions
3. Nominalization
4. The functional organization of nominal and clause

Part II Deverbal -er suffixation: Towards a descriptive position

5. Deverbal -er suffixation: Towards a descriptive position
6. The middle construction
7. Amultifunctional approach to -er nominalization

Part III Factive nominalization

8. Factive nominalization: Towards a descriptive position
9. A functional analysis of factive nominalizations as nominal constructions
10. Conclusion

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