Nominalizations by Maria Koptjevskaja-Tamm

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By Maria Koptjevskaja-Tamm

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They do not retain verbal agreement and tenses, but show oppositions in aspect and voice. The action nominal čtenie has a subject (Petja —‘Peter’) different from that of the matrix clause. In the example above, the subject of the AN has an ‘associative relation’5 with the AN itself, which means that the proper name stands in the special possessive form. Action nominals cannot combine with objects in the accusative and adverbs, as do finite verbs, explaining why the adverb loudly has turned into the adjective loud and the object of the verbal noun is in the genitive.

3 In Mokilese, a Micronesian language, the subjects of complements that ‘describe the action or state, rather than simply asserting that it is a fact’, look like possessors in NPs (Harrison 1976:270). Though Harrison calls such clauses ‘nominalized sentences’, they are otherwise similar to independent clauses. The claim made by Noonan that all languages have some form of s-like complements is very strong, but should be seen in the light of his statement that ‘since all languages have ways of presenting direct quotes, all languages use s-like complements with utterance predicates, though other complement types can occur with predicates in this class for indirect discourse’ (Noonan 1985:111).

In contrast to Hebrew, many languages have a special type of verbal noun which refers to the way of performing the action denoted by the underlying verb. Thus, these nouns differ from typical ANs and can be called nomina modi —‘mode nominals’. ) and clauses which are exactly like independent ones, except for the marking of the subject. 20) below contains a mode nominal (cf. 3)). 20) Loakjidin joangoan mwumwwoawe apwal. ’ (Harrison 1976:282 ex. 8) Other languages have formally distinct classes of mode nominals and action nominals.

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