Simple event nominalizations
In one popular view, expressed most fully in Borer 2005, word meanings are nothing but unstructured, polysemous ‘blobs’ of content, with no formal properties. It is the syntactic context that shapes their meaning, and only this functional scaffolding delivers the kinds of meanings that the compositional semantics trades in. I call this the ‘Blob Theory’ of root meanings. I am going to argue against the Blob Theory by investigating an overlooked class of nominalizations that show properties unexpected under most classifications (Grimshaw 1990, and following): they exhibit some properties of event nominals (they can be modified by <i>frequent/constant</i>, cf. Borer 2003, Alexiadou 2009) but they nonetheless do not have argument structure. I provide an account of these nominalizations as eventive root nominalizations. I then examine the behaviour of these nominalizations with respect to clausal arguments. I argue that their ability to combine with clausal complements shows that roots have a structured semantics that interacts, as unexpected by Blob Theory, with the compositional semantics.