[Lingtyp] Lexical nominalisation of property concepts

Steve Pepper pepper.steve at gmail.com
Thu Jun 9 14:05:18 UTC 2016

Dear Luigi,

I think the descriptions of individual languages in volumes 4 and 5 of
An International Handbook of the Languages of Europe
<https://www.degruyter.com/view/product/433982> will answer most of your
questions. They are pretty thorough, from what I can tell.

(Unfortunately they didn't answer my questions :-(, so I will be soliciting
this list in the near future.)



On Thu, Jun 9, 2016 at 3:14 PM, Luigi Talamo <luigi.talamo at unibg.it> 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 contexts.
> 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.
> Luigi
> --
> PhD Program in Linguistics ('Scienze Linguistiche')
> University of Bergamo and University of Pavia - Italy
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