English Nouns: The Ecology of Nominalization (Cambridge Studies in Linguistics #150) (Paperback)
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Using extensive data from the Corpus of Contemporary American English (Davies, 2008), this groundbreaking book shows that the syntactic patterns in which English nominalizations can be found and the range of possible readings they can express are very different from what has been claimed in past theoretical treatments, and therefore that previous treatments cannot be correct. Lieber argues that the relationship between form and meaning in the nominalization processes of English is virtually never one-to-one, but rather forms a complex web that can be likened to a derivational ecosystem. Using the Lexical Semantic Framework (LSF), she develops an analysis that captures the interrelatedness and context dependence of nominal readings, and suggests that the key to the behavior of nominalizations is that their underlying semantic representations are underspecified in specific ways and that their ultimate interpretation must be fixed in context using processes available within the LSF.