On the edge

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In this paper, we examine the components, the structure and the formation process of derived categories, by analyzing the properties of nouns derived from adjectives. We will discuss the event structure underlying them and argue that, although it is commonly assumed that deadjectival nouns denote qualities (wisdom, beauty) or states (sadness, perplexity), there is a group of deadjectival nominalizations (imprudence, cruelty) that refer to occurrences of events (Beauseroy 2009). We show that such occurrential nominalizations are possible only when derived from evaluative adjectives. This is due, we argue, to the fact that such adjectives can be predicated of events in addition to the sentient individual (Stowell 1991). Finally, we show that the existence of a structure of origin with the relevant properties does not guarantee the existence of the derived category, leaving what seem to be gaps in the universe of possible derivations.


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