Scaling the variation in Romance and Germanic nominalizations

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We investigate the distribution of verbal and nominal layers in Romance and Germanic nominalizations. Specifically, we examine pairs of ‘verbal’ vs. ‘nominal’ nominalizations in two Romance (Spanish & Romanian) and two Germanic (English & German) languages. Our study proposes a large spectrum of nominal and verbal properties. While these are differently instantiated among languages, the variation we find cannot be attributed to a Germanic vs. Romance parameter; instead, we find micro-variation constrained by the compatibility between the general building blocks of verbal and nominal categories. Besides the vP-layers responsible for argument structure and Aktionsart and the DP-layer responsible for the nominal external syntax, we make a case for further functional verbal and nominal layers in nominalizations: Asp(ect)P, Class(ifier)P, and Num(ber)P. These projections are in complementary distribution in some languages and co-occur in others.


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