4. Current challenges to the Lexicalist Hypothesis: An overview and a critique

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In this chapter, arguments against several variants of the modern syntax-based analyses of deverbal nominalizations are presented, and the classic lexicalist approach deriving from Chomsky’s 1970 <i>Remarks on nominalization </i>is defended. The modern approaches of Alexiadou (2001), Fu, Roeper and Borer (2001), Harley and Noyer (1998), which revive in various forms the sentential Generative Semantics analyses of event nominals, are each considered and rejected in turn. In such approaches, argument-structure nominals contain some amount of verbal structure as a proper subpart. Yet, all such nominals exhibit surface syntactic patterns that resemble exactly those of nonderived nominals. The absence of verb-phrase syntax within nominalizations is a fundamental generalization about such nominals, and is very problematic for analyses which propose such substructure.


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