[Lingtyp] Lexical nominalisation of property concepts
gil at shh.mpg.de
Sat Jun 11 03:33:31 EDT 2016
Unlike many of my typologist colleagues who seek refuge from the muddy
waters of formal criteria in the supposed clarity of semantics, I find
semantic criteria to often be just as problematical, if not more so,
than their formal counterparts.
For the purposes of my WALS map, I did not use headedness as a defining
criteria, and I would not wish to take a stand on the headedness in the
examples that you discuss. By "adjective" I meant property-denoting
word one of whose typical functions is as an attribute of a noun, and by
"noun" I meant thing-denoting word. The map shows the morphosyntactic
strategies that a language uses to allow an adjective to occur in a noun
slot — typically, but not criterially, heading a phrase that occurs in
an argument position. This definition is met, among others, by the /one/
in English /beautiful one/, the /de/ in Mandarin /hong de/, and also by
the lack of (dedicated adjective-to-noun conversion) marking in the
Italian /il bello/.
On 10/06/2016 23:01, Luigi Talamo wrote:
> Dear all,
> thanks a lot for your all answers, I really appreciate that.
> I have found your data very interesting, many comments will follow :-)
> I begin below with David's answer.
> One of the two kinds of nominalization mentioned in the query
> ('beautiful' > 'beautiful one') is the subject of my WALS map #61
> "Adjectives without Nouns".
> Thanks David, I have read your WALS map at the beginning of my work;
> maybe you remember that we have exchanged a couple of e-mails some
> time ago. As you mention in the WALS article, the most important issue
> here is whether adjectives are syntactic heads in constructions such
> as 'the white one', which translates in Italian as 'quello bianco'. As
> you probably noticed, I did not consider these constructions in my
> study, as they appear to me to be more 'predicative' than
> 'referential', at least in Italian; moreover, the syntactic head of
> the Italian construction is most likely the deictic quello 'this'. But
> what about the Mandarin example that is reported in your map, Wǒ yào
> hóng de. ? Is hóng a property concept with referential function ?
> On 09/06/2016 21:14, Luigi Talamo wrote:
>> Dear all,
>> I am conducting a research on the lexical nominalisation of
>> property concepts in contemporary Italian. My study involves two
>> types of nominalisation strategy, affixation such as bello
>> `beautiful' -> bell-ezza `beauty (abstract concept)' and
>> zero-marking ('conversion'), such as bello (adj) -> `(il) bello'
>> -> `the beautiful person', `beauty (abstract concept)' and `what
>> is beautiful about something'.
>> Drawing mostly from 'Leipzig Questionnaire On Nominalisation and
>> mixed Categories' (Malchukov et alii (2008)) and studies on
>> adjectival and mixed categories, I have elaborated a series of
>> morpho-syntactic and semantic parameters, which I have employed
>> to study de-adjectival nominalizations in actual, corpus-based
>> I would like to insert in my study some cross-linguistic notes on
>> the phenomenon, which I hope to further study from a typological
>> perspective. I will be glad if you can provide me some examples
>> from your languages of expertise. I have found some examples of
>> de-adjectival nominalizations here and there in grammars, but I
>> was not able to exactly figure out which are the parameters
>> involved; moreover, some recent works (among others, Roy (2010),
>> Alexiadou et alii (2010), Alexiadou & Iordachioaia (2014)) give
>> interesting insights on de-adjectival nominalization, but
>> examples are limited to European languages.
>> I am particularly interested in non-European languages showing a
>> distinct class of adjectives; morpho-syntatic parameters include
>> case, number, gender, definiteness and specificity, degree,
>> external argument structure and, possibly, verbal parameters,
>> which are however not very significant for Italian de-adjectival
>> nominalisation; semantic parameters include referent animacy, the
>> distinction between the nominalisation of the adjectival
>> 'argument' vs. the nominalisation of the adjective itself e.g.,
>> softie `a thing which is soft' vs. softness and the semantic type
>> of property concepts e.g., PHYSICAL PROPERTY or HUMAN PROPENSITY.
>> So, possible questions are as following:
>> 1. Can property concepts be turned into nouns?
>> 2. Which strategies are employed for this purpose?
>> 3. Which parameters do de-adjectival nouns display?
>> 4. Are there any missing values for a given parameter? For
>> instance, de-adjectival nouns can be only singular or definite or
>> restricted to the subject position.
>> 5. Are de-adjectival nouns found in both semantic types of
>> nominalization? For instance, I have observed that European
>> languages focus on the nominalisation of the adjective itself,
>> while argument nominalizations are scarcely attested, limited to
>> certain language varieties and not stable in the lexicon.
>> (needless to say, questions 2 to 4 can have multiple answers,
>> helping to describe different patterns of property nominalisation)
>> Thanks in advance for your help, all the best.
>> PhD Program in Linguistics ('Scienze Linguistiche')
>> University of Bergamo and University of Pavia - Italy
>> Lingtyp mailing list
>> Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
>> <mailto:Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>
> David Gil
> Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution
> Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
> Kahlaische Strasse 10, 07745 Jena, Germany
> Email:gil at shh.mpg.de <mailto:gil at shh.mpg.de>
> Office Phone (Germany):+49-3641686834 <tel:%2B49-3641686834>
> Mobile Phone (Indonesia):+62-82238009215 <tel:%2B62-82238009215>
> Lingtyp mailing list
> Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
> <mailto:Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>
> PhD Program in Linguistics ('Scienze Linguistiche')
> University of Bergamo and University of Pavia - Italy
> Lingtyp mailing list
> Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
Kahlaische Strasse 10, 07745 Jena, Germany
Email: gil at shh.mpg.de
Office Phone (Germany): +49-3641686834
Mobile Phone (Indonesia): +62-82238009215
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