Roberto Zamparelli (Università di Trento),
May 21, 2019,
Nominal uses of verbs, like English gerunds ([Raking leaves] was fun) or Italian nominalized infinitives, like (1a) (nominal infinitive) and (1b) (bare nominal infinitives) in (1):
have a number of special syntactic and semantic properties which set them aside from all other types of nominalization: productive cases are only singular, have restrictions on the predicates they combine with and on their determiners and modifiers. Semantically, they seem to be neither events (since they cannot ‘happen’) nor facts (since they cannot ‘be true’); syntactically, they are bare singulars like (abstract) mass nouns, yet with many additional restrictions.
Grimm and McNally put forth a proposal for English gerunds – which can be extended to the Italian case – according to which nominal verbs denote ‘event-kinds’. In this talk I will scrutinize this parallel and try to factor the similarities and differences between ‘kinds of’+N and ‘kinds of’+V, and between distinct subconstructions that involve nominal verbs.