Linguistics and English Language

Meaning and grammar seminar

Speaker: Emily Hanink (University of Manchester)

Title: Subject nominalizations as nominalized reduced relatives

Abstract: Within the literature on deverbal nominalizations, thematic subject nominalizations beyond -er nominals (e.g., ‘writer’; Rappaport-Hovav & Levin 1992, Baker & Vinokurova 2009, Alexiadou & Schäfer 2010, i.a.) remain relatively understudied. This talk contributes to the empirical landscape of this nominalization type through the investigation of subject nominalizations in Washo (isolate, United States). While previous work assimilates subject nominalizations in Washo to the -er type (Bochnak et al. 2011), I show that this proposal faces challenges from both the amount of verbal structure within the nominalization and the nature of the “subject” therein, which I argue to be PRO. Further evidence for the nature of the subject comes from the fact that what appears to be a nominalizer in this construction is in fact the reflex of possessor agreement with a null possessor, found also in cases of nominal possession in which the possessor is pro-dropped. This discussion leads to an examination of the semantic relationship between nominalizations of this type and reduced relatives (e.g., Alexeyenko 2012, Ntelitheos 2012, Toosarvandani 2014), which I suggest sheds light on a class of “ill-behaved” subject nominalizations found cross-linguistically.


Seminars are organised by the meaning and grammar research group.

Meaning and grammar research group

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Mar 02 2021 -

Meaning and grammar seminar

2021-03-02: Subject nominalizations as nominalized reduced relatives

Online via link invitation