13. The periphrastic realization of participants in nominalizations: Semantic and discourse constraints

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This paper discusses the inclusion of periphrastic participants in deverbal nominalizations. While traditionally the <i>clause</i>-like properties of <i>explicitly </i>realized participants are focused on, it zooms in on deverbal event nominalizations that lack one or more participants and points to the importance of identifying the precise nominal status of their periphrastic participants accurately. In particular, referring to Willemse’s (2005) analysis of <i>of</i>-phrases as ‘reference points’, it suggests, firstly, that periphrastic participants primarily be analyzed as nominal reference points of the deverbal head noun, functioning as autonomous discourse referents, and, secondly, that those cases where participants are not included but ‘understood’ and retrievable from the discourse context are cases of what one might classify as a type of ‘nominal ellipsis’. In a second part, the existence of event nominalizations of which the participants are not retrievable in the discourse context is pointed out and it is argued that such nominalizations are comparable to a clausal type of ‘events’, i.e. to nonfinite events, which are not temporally grounded and do not necessarily take a Subject-entity.


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