1932

Abstract

Nominalization (e.g., , , ) allows speakers to refer and ascribe properties to whatever sorts of entities clauses, verbs, or adjectives typically denote. Characterizing these relatively abstract entities has challenged semanticists and philosophers of language for over 50 years, thanks especially to Zeno Vendler's early work. Vendler took different kinds of English nominalization constructions to support positing facts, propositions, and events as distinct ontological objects. However, his conclusions remain controversial. The research on nominalization and natural language ontology has never been brought together or put into perspective; in this article, we clarify the complex variety of subsequent ontological positions that build on Vendler's work, identifying points of consensus and disagreement. We also reflect on the consequences and challenges of focusing on the English data and offer a glimpse of how the landscape might change with greater attention to nominalization in other languages.

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2022-01-14
2024-06-22
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