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Title: Strutture argomentali e cicli lessicali delle nominalizzazioni italiane
Authors: Insacco, Gioia
metadata.dc.contributor.advisor: Simone, Raffaele
Keywords: ciclo lessicale
nominalizzazioni transitive
nominalizzazioni inaccusative, nominalizzazioni inergative
struttura argomentale
Issue Date: 27-Apr-2015
Publisher: Università degli studi Roma Tre
Abstract: The main theme of my work is deverbal nominalizations, i.e., superficially nominal forms deriving from verbs, from which a series of semantic and syntactic properties can be inher-ited. My thesis is divided into two parts: the first is theoretical – focusing on the description of my study object – and the other is analytical, where I have analyzed 75 nominalizations taken from La Repubblica corpus. The theoretical part is made up of three chapters; the first chapter – entitled “Classi di parole: il verbo e il nome” – deals with the notion of “word class”. In the literature we can find different criteria to classify words among the world languages: morphological, syntactic and semantic criterion. In particular, my attention is focused on two word classes: the verb and the noun. The verb can be classified according to three parameters: (a) verbal valency; (b) Aktionsart; (c) transitivity. The concept of valency – introduced to linguistics by Lucien Tesnière (1959) – is based on a phrasal structure that differs from traditional grammar, i.e., in the traditional model, in addition to the predicate, there is a distinction between the subject and all other complements, whilst in the valency theory, complements are divided into two classes, the arguments and the adjuncts. The arguments of a predicate are necessary to complete the meaning of the predicate. The adjuncts of a predicate, in contrast, provide auxiliary infor-mation about the core predicate-argument meaning, which means they are not necessary to complete the meaning of the predicate. Adjuncts and arguments can be identified using var-ious diagnostics. According to the argument number required by verbal valency, it is possible to distinguish between four verb typologies: (a) zerovalent verbs (e.g. piovere, nevicare); (b) monovalent verbs (e.g. camminare, arrivare); (c) bivalent verbs (e.g. leggere, rompere) and (d) three-argument verbs (e.g. regalare, dedicare). The second parameter (Aktionsart) refers to the way a verb is structured in relation to time. According to Vendler’s classification, subsequently recovered by Dowty (1989) and Bertinetto (1991), on the strength of three criteria – dynamism, duration and telicity – it is possible to recognize four verb classes: (a) state verbs (e.g. possedere, stare) (b) accom-plishment verbs (e.g. costruire, disegnare), (c) activity verbs (e.g. correre, guidare) and (d) achievement verb (e.g. riconoscere, notare). Finally, transitivity parameter divides verbs into two classes: transitive verbs – verbs which select a direct object (e.g. comprare, disegnare) – and intransitive verbs – verbs which do not select any direct object (e.g. correre, arrossire). These last verbs are divided into unaccusative verbs and unergative verbs. The second part of the first chapter deals with the noun class description. Lyons (1977) dis-tinguishes “first-order” nouns – nouns referring to referential entities – and “second-order” nouns – nouns referring to events. Unlike first-order nouns, second-order nouns can be classified according to two criteria, generally used to categorize verbs: the valency criterion (zerovalent nouns, e.g. tramonto; monovalent nouns, e.g. partenza; bivalent nouns, e.g. telefonata; three-argument nouns, e.g. dono) and the Aktionsart criterion (state nouns, e.g.: ansia; activity nouns, e.g. corsa; accomplishment nouns, costruzione; achievement nouns, e.g. riconoscimento). The first chapter ends with a paragraph about the noun-verb continuum, viz, nouns and verbs do not represent disjoint or discontinuous word classes, they are the extremes of a continuum which contains hybrid verb-nominal forms and nominalizations occupy a central position inside this continuum. In the second chapter – “Morfologia e semantica delle nominalizzazioni” – I de-scribe two different morphological strategies – derivation and conversion – that can be used by a speaker to create nouns starting from a verbal base. In particular, I go through the morphological behavior of the most productive Italian suffixes: -zione, -mento, -ata, -za, -ìo and -aggio. In the second part of this chapter I describe some semantic properties belonging to nominal-izations. Although nominalizations are paraphrasable in a whole sentence, sometimes they tend to focus on just one phrasal element. In this context we can distinguish: (a) nominali-zations focused on a verb argument and (b) nominalizations focused on the verbal predi-cate. The first ones can express a subject (e.g. guidatore, frullatore), a direct object (e.g. costruzione) or an indirect object (e.g. destinatario), while the second ones express the pos-sible paraphrase predicate (e.g. cambiamento). Lastly in this chapter, I present the concept of “lexical cycles”, introduced by Simone (2000), “un algorithme par lequel une forme lexicale (mot, syntagme figé, etc.) douée d’un sens de départ M1, développe en diachronie une série d’autres sens (M2, M3,…, Mn), qui ne s’associent pas à elle de façon arbitraire, mais qui sont relié à M1 d’une certain façon, tout en étant sémantiquement distinct de lui, et qui forment une matrice prédéfinie de sens pos-sibles” (Simone 2000: 264). In other words, “l’évolution sémantique du mot ne se déroule pas comme elle veut, mais comme elle peut, c’est-à-dire selon des voies déjà définies, qui constituent sa matrice sémantique propre”. The concept of “lexical cycle” is essential to understanding the semantic evolution of deverbal nouns. In the third chapter – “Tratti verbali sulle nominalizzazioni” – I show how proper-ties that are typically associated to the verbal class – person, tense, voice and aspect – can be expressed by nominalizations. In addition, I also analyse argument structure, presenting Grimshaw’s proposal (1990), which distinguishes three kinds of nouns: (a) “complex event nominals”, nouns denoting events or processes and inheriting both the event structure and the argument structure from their corresponding verbs. The argument structure of such a noun must be satisfied, thereby rendering its arguments obligatory such us (b) “simple event nominals” denoting processes or events that differ from (a) because they do not inher-it an event structure. In these nouns, verbal arguments are optional and (c) “result nominals” do not have an eventive or an argument structure. The difference among these three noun types is shown by a series of diagnostics. In addition, I describe Koptjevkaja-Tamm’s typological study which – starting from several languages – picks out seven syntactic types exhibited by nominalizations in order to realize argument relations. I focus my attention on the most recurring syntactic types in the Italian language, viz., (a) the “sentential” type, characterized by the retention of the sentential de-pendent-marking in nominalizations, (b) the “possessive-accusative” type, characterized by the subject genitivation of both transitive verbs and intransitive verbs and the retention of the sentential dependent-marking by patient, (c) the “ergative-possessive” type character-ized by the genitivation of both patient and subjects of intransitive verbs, which are marked in the same way as opposed to subjects of transitive verbs, and (d) the “nominal” type char-acterized by subject genitivation of both transitive verbs and intransitive verbs and assimi-lation of patient to some dependents in non-derived NPs. The second part of my thesis is divided into two chapters, in which I analyse the ar-gument structure and the possible lexical cycles of about 75 nominalizations taken from La Repubblica corpus. More specifically, in the fourth chapter – “Strutture argomentali delle nominalizzazioni in -ata, -mento e -zione” – I analyse and discuss the nominalizations ar-gument structures in relation to their starting verbs argument structures. In this way it is possible to draw attention to some argument alternations (e.g. transitive nominalizations used without realizing the patient-object, transitive nominalizations used in an unaccusative way or vice versa, unaccusative or unergative nominalizations used in a transitive way). My analysis highlights two phenomena: (a) the verbal argument decrease, i.e., that most nominalizations focus on just one portion of the event an so, when dealing with more ar-guments, they tend to express just one argument and (b) the superficial differences flatten-ing, i.e., that agent, patient and theme tend to be realized through the same superficial codi-fication, viz., the prepositional syntagm di + NP. This may cause ambiguity in transitive nominalizations, especially when only one argument is satisfied, since the same codifica-tion can correspond to both the agent and the patient. Lastly, in the fifth chapter – “Cicli lessicali nelle nominalizzazioni in -ata, -mento e -zione” – I describe the most recurring lexical cycles I have found among the nominaliza-tions taken from La Repubblica corpus:  Event → concrete object (e.g. condimento, collezione);  Event → abstract object (e.g. descrizione, classificazione);  Event → human group (e.g. direzione, organizzazione);  Event → location (e.g. entrata, fermata);  Event → manner (e.g. camminata, portamento). As will be shown, metonymy is linked to each lexical cycle. Metonymy is rhetorical mech-anism which turns (for proximity) both real arguments (Agent and Patient) and default ar-guments (manner, location and tense) to linguistic entities. As we will see, metonymy is al-so the basis of interpretations designing entities (e.g. product) which do not correspond to real arguments or default arguments. The last important element is the impact that different lexical cycles have on a language system, viz. lexical cycles determining referential interpretations create stable meanings; on the contrary, lexical cycles determining locative, modal and temporal interpretations are the result of speech operations and therefore they will disappear after their use.
Access Rights: info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
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