Studies in Language Variation, Meaning and Learning
Edited By David Tizón Couto, Beatriz Tizon-Couto, Iria Pastor-Gomez and Maurizio Gotti
VERA VÁZQUEZ-LÓPEZ - Nominalisations in Early Modern English: Internal Structure, Development and Suffixal Productivity 223
VERA VÁZQUEZ-LÓPEZ Nominalisations in Early Modern English: Internal Structure, Development and Suffixal Productivity1 1. Introduction In discussing the distinction between nouns and verbs, it is generally agreed that nouns tend to refer to entities, and verbs to actions and pro- cesses. However, when we examine real data, we see that this distinc- tion is not so clear-cut, and that borderline cases exist. Among these is the kind of nominalisation2 that constitutes the focus of this study, that which does not refer to concrete entities but to actions or processes, including examples such as variation, nourishment and annoying. Nom- inalisations have received much attention in the literature, and their analysis has been discussed from many different perspectives, whether descriptively or from more theoretical orientations; see, for instance, Grimshaw (1990), Picallo (1999) and Bauer/Huddleston (2002), among many others. This study seeks to provide a fresh look at the field, since it uses real data retrieved from a corpus of earlier English. More specifi- 1 For generous financial support I am grateful to the European Regional Devel- opment Fund and the following institutions: Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (grants HUM2007-60706 and FFI2011-26693-C02-01), Autonomous Government of Galicia (grant CN2011/011) and Spanish Minis- try of Education (FPU grant 2007-04509). Many thanks also to Teresa Fanego and María José López-Couso for valuable comments and feedback on an ear- lier version of this chapter. 2 The term ‘nominalisation’ is used here in a broad sense, to subsume both nominalisations proper, that is...
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