Referential markers in Oceanic nominalized constructions

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Nominalized constructions are a very frequent phenomenon in Oceanic languages, used in nominal, relative, or imperative clauses as arguments, adjuncts, or the prototypical expression of exclamations. I provide evidence that contrary to widespread views, tense, negation, and aspect markers do occur in nominalizations. I then examine restrictions on the occurrence of these markers, as well as of some articles, and try to find historical explanations. Lastly, I show that hierarchical constraints often formulated for nominalization and deverbalization processes do not fully apply to Oceanic languages, since the occurrence of tense and aspect markers is not only attested in lexical nominalizations but is also quite frequent in phrasal and clausal nominalizations, that is, at the syntactic and discourse levels as well.


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