Volume 23, Issue 4
  • ISSN 1606-822X
  • E-ISSN: 2309-5067



A tensed clause that undergoes nominalization marked with (-phrase) in Lhasa Tibetan can give either an event reading or a participant reading. A syntactic analysis of the -phrase is conducted by proposing the Differential Nominalizer Hypothesis (DNH). Specifically, selects an AspP as its complement and projects an NP; enters the derivation either as a grammatical item that shifts an AspP to an NP or as a lexical item that binds an empty category in the position within the AspP. This categorial difference of and the consequent derivational difference of the -phrase provide a plausible account of the semantic ambiguity of -nominalization. The idea that the nominalizer has a double category is supported with an assumption of grammaticalization, as is evidenced by the functional multiplicity of in Lhasa Tibetan: it is a productive grammatical marker but still bears lexical content of a lexical formative. The assumption of grammaticalization lends support to the DNH.

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Keyword(s): ambiguity; Lhasa Tibetan; nominalization; pa
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