Nominalization in northwest Amazonia: introduction

Overall, Simon E., and Wojtylak, Katarzyna I. (2018) Nominalization in northwest Amazonia: introduction. STUF - Language Typology and Universals, 71 (1). pp. 1-18.

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Abstract

The chapters in this volume describe the forms and functions of deverbal nominalizations in a selection of indigenous languages of the northwest Amazon basin, with an eye to the wider typological implications. We define nominalization as a process by which a non-nominal unit is converted into a nominal one through some derivational process. More pecifically, deverbal nominalization is the ability of a language "to reify a verbal predicate and to present it as a nominal argument or modifier" (Deutscher 2009: 199); in other words, to allow a verbal predicate to form (part of) a referring expression, that is, a noun phrase. This is a wide definition, subsuming such traditional terms as action-nominal, masdar, participle, infinitive, gerund. Aikhenvald (2011: 316) points out that deverbal nominalizations often have somewhat different properties than those derived from other classes of words. A few published volumes that draw our attention to the importance of nominalization in the Americas include works on functions of nominalizations as subordination strategies (van Gijn et al. 2010, van Gijn 2014) and in the context of relative clauses (Comrie and Estrada-Fernández 2012). The evidence suggests that nominalization has been a major force in both synchronic and diachronic phenomena, but has not seen the concentrated research that has been apparent in (especially Southeast) Asian languages (e.g. Yap et al. 2011). For Amazonian languages, it is clear from the relatively small amount published so far that the phenomena encountered are also central to the grammars of various languages, a fact noted by Derbyshire and Pullum (1986) and Dixon and Aikhenvald (1999: 9). Notably, there are many typological parallels with better described languages that demand further investigation.

Item ID: 52768
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2196-7148
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2018 00:07
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2004 Linguistics > 200408 Linguistic Structures (incl Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950201 Communication Across Languages and Culture @ 100%
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