Verbs, nouns and affixation∗∗∗

What explains the rich patterns of deverbal nominalization? Why do some nouns have argument structure, while others do not? We seek a solution in which properties of deverbal nouns are composed from properties of verbs, properties of nouns, and properties of the morphemes that relate them. The theory of each plus the theory of how they combine, should give the explanation. In exploring this, we investigate properties of two theories of nominalization. In one, the verb-like properties of deverbal nouns result from verbal syntactic structure (a “structural model”). See, for example, van Hout & Roeper 1998, Fu, Roeper and Borer 1993, 2001, to appear, Alexiadou 2001, to appear). According to the structural hypothesis, some nouns contain VPs and/or verbal functional layers. In the other theory, the verbal properties of deverbal nouns result from the event structure and argument structure of the DPs that they head. By “event structure” we mean a representation of the elements and structure of a linguistic event, not a representation of the world. We refer to this view as the “event model”. According to the event model hypothesis, all derived nouns are represented with the same syntactic structure, the difference lying in argument structure – which in turn is critically related to event structure, in the way sketched in Grimshaw (1990), Siloni (1997) among others.1 In pursuing these lines of analysis, and at least to some extent disentangling their properties, we reach the conclusion that, with respect to a core set of phenomena, the two theories are remarkably similar – specifically, they achieve success with the same problems, and must resort to the same stipulations to address the remaining issues that we discuss (although the stipulations are couched in different forms).
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