Aspects of the internal structure of nominalization: roots, morphology and derivation
AuthorPunske, Jeffrey Paul
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation uses syntactic, semantic and morphological evidence from English nominalization to probe the interaction of event-structure and syntax, develop a typology of structural complexity within nominalization, and test hypotheses about the strict ordering of functional items. I focus on the widely assumed typology of nominalization found in Chomsky (1970). In particular, I show that derived nominals are structurally more complex than nominal gerunds; this has long been assumed to be the opposite. I provide a structural and morphological account of these forms of nominalization. In doing so, I explore a number of disparate topics such as: the importance of syncretism in apparently unrelated morphological elements for theories like Distributed Morphology; the role of prepositions in allowing or preventing binding relations and NPI-licensing, the exact nature of root-object union that allows idiomatic interpretations; the morphological reflexes of Case in the nominal system; the syntactic structure of verb particle constructions; the nature of events in nominalization; and the role syntactic operations play in determining morphological regularity. The dissertation also explores the nature of the English verb particle construction, arguing that it has (at least) three distinct structural configurations. Using these three distinct structures I am able to explain a number of distinct behaviors from predicate-object relationships, particle modification and argument loss in particle construction. I also discuss the relationship between particles (and results) and the different forms of nominalization. In particular, I show that apparent co-occurrence restrictions between nominal types and particles are not due to event-structure or other semantic restrictions. Rather, these differences are tied solely to the particular, idiosyncratic morphological properties of the constructions. The dissertation shows that certain functional projections may only appear once with a given root, but that there is some freedom of ordering of projections relative to the root in some cases. This work provides a window into the interaction between syntax and event structure as well as the nature of ordering within functional projections.
Degree ProgramGraduate College