Finiteness, nominalization, and information structure

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The correlation between finiteness and nominalization is frequently discussed in the literature. This paper will introduce information structure as a third factor that has an important impact on processes of grammaticalization. Nominalized verb forms can be used in the formation of relative clauses and clefting. With these functions, they can become part of focus constructions. At a subsequent stage, they are reanalyzed either as finite forms with tense-aspect functions or as markers of stance. With the integration of the focus function of nominalized verb forms, a considerable part of what is described as insubordination (Evans 2007) can be explained in terms of a grammaticalization process, moving from the use in a focus construction to the reanalysis as a finite form.


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