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LINGUIST List 23.2343

Wed May 16 2012

Diss: Syntax: Punske: 'Aspects of the Internal Structure of Nominalization: Roots, morphology and derivation'

Editor for this issue: Xiyan Wang <xiyanlinguistlist.org>

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Date: 15-May-2012
From: Jeffrey Punske <punskeemail.arizona.edu>
Subject: Aspects of the Internal Structure of Nominalization: Roots, morphology and derivation
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Institution: University of Arizona
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2012

Author: Jeffrey Punske

Dissertation Title: Aspects of the Internal Structure of Nominalization: Roots, morphology and derivation

Dissertation URL: https://sites.google.com/site/punskej/cv/dissertation

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

Dissertation Director:
Simin Karimi

Dissertation Abstract:

This dissertation uses syntactic, semantic and morphological evidence from
English nominalization to probe the interaction of event-structure and
syntax, develop a typology of structural complexity within nominalization,
and test hypotheses about the strict ordering of functional items. I focus
on the widely assumed typology of nominalization found in Chomsky (1970).
In particular, I show that derived nominals are structurally more complex
than nominal gerunds; this has long been assumed to be the opposite.

I provide a structural and morphological account of these forms of
nominalization. In doing so, I explore a number of disparate topics such
as: the importance of syncretism in apparently unrelated morphological
elements for theories like Distributed Morphology; the role of prepositions
in allowing or preventing binding relations and NPI-licensing, the exact
nature of root-object union that allows idiomatic interpretations; the
morphological reflexes of Case in the nominal system; the syntactic
structure of verb particle constructions; the nature of events in
nominalization; and the role syntactic operations play in determining
morphological regularity.

The dissertation also explores the nature of the English verb particle
construction, arguing that it has (at least) three distinct structural
configurations. Using these three distinct structures I am able to explain
a number of distinct behaviors from predicate-object relationships,
particle modification and argument loss in particle construction.

I also discuss the relationship between particles (and results) and the
different forms of nominalization. In particular, I show that apparent
co-occurrence restrictions between nominal types and particles are not due
to event-structure or other semantic restrictions. Rather, these
differences are tied solely to the particular, idiosyncratic morphological
properties of the constructions.

The dissertation shows that certain functional projections may only appear
once with a given root, but that there is some freedom of ordering of
projections relative to the root in some cases. This work provides a
window into the interaction between syntax and event structure as well as
the nature of ordering within functional projections.

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