[Lingtyp] Lexical nominalisation of property concepts

Luigi Talamo luigi.talamo at unibg.it
Fri Jun 10 15:01:56 UTC 2016

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".
> David

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 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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> --
> 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
> Office Phone (Germany): +49-3641686834
> Mobile Phone (Indonesia): +62-82238009215
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PhD Program in Linguistics ('Scienze Linguistiche')
University of Bergamo and University of Pavia - Italy
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