A Cognitive-Functional Approach to Nominalization in English by Liesbet Heyvaert

By Liesbet Heyvaert

The most aim of the publication is to give a scientific account of the constructional mechanisms that underlie deverbal nominalization. Such an account strongly demands a useful instead of basically structural process simply because nominalizations are essentially practical re-classifications of verbal predicates into nominal buildings. The argument is fortyfied via an in depth dialogue of a couple of nominalization platforms (i.e. deverbal -er nominalizations, gerundive nominals and that-nominalizations). This publication is of curiosity to all researchers in cognitive and useful linguistics.

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This is true of, for instance, the schematic characterization of nomináis as 'grounded instances of some type'. Extension of the standard, on the other hand, implies that the target structure is only partially sanctioned by the standard or deviates from it. The standard is then conceived as the prototype of the category. It follows that a 'natural' approach to classification should not only look for schematic generalizations, but should also take account of the occurrence of prototypical and less prototypical instances of a class (Langacker 1987a: 371).

Examples of prototypical nomináis are this cup, some milk, a big house, those three black cats. Non-prototypical are nomináis such as three from Toledo, the poor, for Harold to resign·, they occur less frequently or "only in special grammatical circumstances" (Langacker 1991: 143). , that, these, some, any). 4. Composition and classification: Conclusion In short, a radically functional approach to composition gives priority to functions rather than to constituents and posits that an accurate description and classification of symbolic units has to be based on a functional analysis which includes the external and the internal functional organization of the unit in question.

As pointed out by Davidse (1998a), it has had a great impact on Halliday's thinking, and even though Halliday has never theorized much about agnation (Davidse 1998a: 287), his identification of system networks and, linked to it, of the various metafimctions, is based on inter-constructional relations. For one thing, the categories in his system networks essentially represent the proportionality of relations between constructions. As Halliday puts it, a category's label is "no more than the name of a proportional relation" between constructions (Halliday 1994: xxxii).

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