Nominalization in Saisiyat

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Studies on Formosan languages (Huang 2002; Li 2002; Rau 2002; Zeitoun 2002) have pointed out that lexical and syntactic nominalization are indistinct morphologically. In Saisiyat, not only are lexical nominalization deriving argument nouns and syntactic nominalization forming relative or subordinate clauses morphologically identical, the nominalizers are also found to function as tense or aspect markers. In terms of categoriality, (Hopper & Thompson 1984, 1985), such phenomena indicate a cline from verbs in a special temporal/aspectual frame to verbs in subordinate clauses serving background function and then to derived nouns. In light of this, the relationship between marking tense/aspect and these two types of nominalization can be captured by a decategorialization process from verb to noun triggered by discourse function.


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