Constraining nominalization: function / form competition

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The present article deals with constraints on transcategorial processes such as nominalization. In particular, it addresses the issue whether one can predict the order in which verbal categories are lost and nominal categories are acquired in nominalization. It is argued that the disruption/acquisition of categories in transcategorial processes is determined by functionally based hierarchies of nominal and verbal categories, as suggested in the functional-typological literature. The hierarchy constraints in turn are shown to arise from the interaction of FUNCFAITH constraints forcing decategorization/recategorization and LEXFAITH hedging these processes. Structural factors such as morpheme order and category cumulation can also interfere with the hierarchy constraints. These structural factors can be derived from conditions on output-output correspondences (OOCs) be- tween the morphological structure of nominalizations with that of finite verbs, on the one hand, and nonderived nouns, on the other. Thus the outcome of nominalization processes is determined by an interaction of the function- based hierarchy constraints and OOC-related structural constraints.

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  • Andrej L. Malchukov

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