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2.2.3.3. Ing-nominalizations
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[+]  I.  Complementation

Ing-nominalization is a productive morphological process that accepts most verb types as input. This subsection discusses complementation of ing-nominalizations according to the types of input verb; cf. (337). See Section 1.3.1.3, sub I, for a discussion of irregular ing-nouns like jacht'hunt' in example (337d).

Example 337
Main types of ing-nominalization
a. de daling van de prijzen
unaccusative verb
  the falling  of the prices
b. de ontdekking van Amerika
transitive verb
  the discovery  of America
c. de overhandiging van de petitie aan de burgemeester
ditransitive verb
  the handing.over  of the petition  to the mayor
d. de jacht op groot wild
verb with PP-complement
  the hunt  on big game
e. de verkiezing van Jan tot burgemeester
verb with a complementive
  the election  of Jan  to mayor

Transitive verbs taking clausal complements also allow ing-nominalization; cf. de ontdekking dat de aarde rond is'the discovery that the earth is round'. A discussion of these clausal complements is given in Section 2.3.

[+]  A.  Ing-nominalizations derived from intransitive verbs

Section 1.3.1.3, sub IV, has shown that intransitive verbs do not to allow ing-nominalization: the verb huilen'to cry', for example, has no corresponding Ing-noun *huiling. This section also discusses the (possibly apparent) counterexample in (338).

Example 338
De aarzeling van de commissie duurde niet lang.
  the hesitation  of the committee  lasted  not long
'The hesitation of the committee didnʼt last long.'
[+]  B.  Ing-nominalizations derived from unaccusative verbs

Unaccusative verbs readily accept ing-nominalization. The examples in (339) show that the theme argument must normally be expressed, and takes the form of a postnominal van-PP or a prenominal genitive noun phrase or possessive pronoun. In the latter case the theme argument must be +human.

Example 339
a. De val *(van de regeringTheme) kwam niet onverwachts.
  the fall     of the government  came  not  unexpectedly
  'The fall of the government wasnʼt unexpected.'
a'. Jans/ZijnTheme val kostte hem de overwinning.
  Janʼs/his fall  cost  him  the victory
b. De komst *(van JanTheme) was een aangename verrassing.
  the arrival      of Jan  was a pleasant surprise
b'. Jans/zijnTheme komst was een aangename verrassing.
  Janʼs/his arrival  was a pleasant surprise
c. De daling *(van de prijzenTheme) kwam onverwacht.
  the increase     of the prices  came  unexpectedly

Leaving the argument unexpressed leads to questionable results even in generic contexts; apparently, it is difficult in such cases to give the unexpressed theme a nonspecific interpretation. This is illustrated in examples (340a&b). That the genitive noun phrase or possessive pronoun in prenominal position and the van-PP in postnominal position both express the theme argument of the ing-nominalization is shown by the fact that they cannot co-occur; like their intransitive verbal base, these ing-nominalizations can assign the theme role to only one argument. An example is given in (340c).

Example 340
a. ?? Een komst is altijd weer een verrassing.
  an arrival  is always  again  a surprise
b. ? Vernietigingen zijn soms moeilijk te voorkomen.
  destructions  are  sometimes  difficult  to prevent
c. * Zijn komst van Jan was een aangename verrassing.
  his arrival  of Jan  was a pleasant surprise

      There are a limited number of cases in which the theme of the corresponding verb can be realized as an attributive adjective. These occurrences are restricted to relational adjectives of the geographical type (cf. Section A1.3.3, like Amerikaans'American', Amsterdams'of Amsterdam', etc. Such an analysis is, however, by no means undisputed: although relational adjectives differ from other adjectives in that they do not denote a property but express a relation between two entities, this does not mean that in such sentences as (341a&b), the adjective is to be interpreted as denoting the inherited theme argument of the verbs opkomen'to rise' and bloeien'to flourish'; instead, it may be argued that the adjective fulfills the same function as in examples (341a'&b'), where it cannot be seen as an argument of the noun.

Example 341
a. de Amerikaanse opkomst in de 20e eeuw
  the  American  rise  in the 20th century
a'. de Amerikaanse dollar
  the  American  dollar
b. de Amsterdamse bloei in de 17e eeuw
  the  Amsterdam  burgeoning  in the 17th century
b'. de Amsterdamse grachten
  the  Amsterdam  canals
[+]  C.  Ing-nominalizations derived from transitive verbs

Ing-nominalizations based on transitive verbs offer a wider range of possible forms of complementation. Two frequent uses can be distinguished: that in which both arguments are expressed, and that in which only the theme argument is expressed. Let us start with the latter type of construction.

[+]  1.  Ing-nominalizations with the theme argument expressed

If the theme argument is realized (which is always the case, except in occasional generic readings), this argument may surface as a postnominal van-PP, as in the primeless examples in (342), or as a prenominal genitive noun phrase or possessive pronoun, as in (342b'): example (342a') is of course marked due to the fact that possessive pronouns tend to refer to +human entities if no antecedent is present in the immediately preceding discourse; cf. Section 5.2.2.1, sub I.

Example 342
a. De verwoesting van de stadTheme eiste veel slachtoffers.
  the destruction  of the city  claimed  many victims
a'. ?? HunTheme verwoesting eiste veel slachtoffers.
  their  destruction  claimed  many victims
b. De behandeling van de patiëntenTheme kostte veel tijd.
  the treatment  of the patients  cost  much time
b'. HunTheme behandeling kostte veel tijd.
  their  treatment  cost  much time

Unlike with inf-nominalizations, the theme argument cannot be realized as a prenominal noun phrase, regardless of the specificity of the argument. This is illustrated in (343).

Example 343
a. * De [(deze) steden]Theme verwoesting eiste vele slachtoffers.
  the  these cities  destruction  demanded  many victims
b. * De [(die) patiënten]Theme behandeling kost veel tijd.
  the  those patients  treating  costs  much time

However, in the case of a nonspecific theme, incorporation can in certain cases be an alternative form of expression, as shown in example (344).

Example 344
a. Een goede afvalverwerking is duur.
  good  waste disposal  is expensive
  'Proper waste disposal is expensive.'
b. Een efficiënte klachtenbehandeling is een vereiste.
  an  efficient  complaints handling  is a requirement
  'Efficient handling of complaints is a must.'

Occasionally, ing-nouns derived from transitive verbs select their own preposition. In all examples given in (345) the noun selects a preposition other than van, whereas the theme of the input verbs has the form of a noun phrase, not of a PP; see also Section 1.2.2.2, sub IE, and Section 2.1, sub V.

Example 345
a. Jan bezoekt Peter.
  Jan visits Peter
a'. Jans bezoek aan Peter
  Janʼs visit to Peter
b. Jan vertrouwt Marie.
  Jan trusts Marie
b'. Jans vertrouwen in Marie
  Jans trust in Marie
c. Peter haat Els.
  Peter hates Els
c'. Peters haat jegens Els
  Peter hatred towards Els
[+]  2.  Ing-nominalizations with both the theme and the agent argument expressed

If both the agent and the theme argument are expressed, a number of (combinations of) forms are possible. Consider the examples in (346). The first option is that of adding the agent argument in the form of a door-PP. As in the case of inf-nominalizations, this door-PP typically follows both the nominalized head and the theme argument realized as a van-PP, as in (346a&b), unless the theme is very heavy, as in example (346b'). The doubly-primed examples show that prenominal placement of the agentive door-PP is excluded.

Example 346
a. De verwoesting van de stadTheme door de RomeinenAgent eiste veel slachtoffers.
  the destruction  of the city  by the Romans  demanded  many victims
  'The destruction of the city by the Romans cost many lives.'
a'. ?? De verwoesting door de RomeinenAgent van de stadTheme eiste veel slachtoffers.
a''. * De door de RomeinenAgent verwoesting van de stadTheme eiste veel slachtoffers.
b. De behandeling van de patiëntenTheme door de artsAgent kostte veel tijd.
  the treatment  of the patients  by the doctor  cost  much time
  'The treatment of the patients by the doctor took a lot of time.'
b'. ? De behandeling door de artsAgent van de patiënt van kamer 114Theme kostte veel tijd.
  the treatment  by the doctor  of the patient in room 114  cost  much time
b''. * De door onervaren artsenAgent behandeling van patiëntenTheme kostte veel tijd.
  the  by inexperienced doctors  treatment  of patients  cost much time

The examples in (347a&b) show that the agent can also take the form of a prenominal genitive noun phrase or possessive pronoun, with the theme appearing as a postnominal van-PP. Alternatively, it is the theme argument that appears prenominally as a genitive noun phrase or pronoun, with the agent appearing (optionally) as a postnominal door-PP. This is illustrated in (347b'): example (347a') is of course marked due to the fact that possessive pronouns tend to refer to +human entities.

Example 347
a. Caesars/ZijnAgent verwoesting van de stedenTheme eiste vele slachtoffers.
  Caesarʼs/His destruction  of the cities  demanded  many victims
  'Caesarʼs/His destruction of the cities cost many lives.'
a'. ?? HunTheme verwoesting door de RomeinenAgent eiste vele slachtoffers.
  their destruction  by the Romans  demanded  many victims
  'Their destruction by the Romans cost many lives.'
b. Peters/ZijnAgent behandeling van de patiëntTheme kostte veel tijd.
  Peterʼs/His treatment  of the patient  cost  much time
  'Peterʼs/His treatment of the patient took a lot of time.'
b'. (?) Peters/ZijnTheme behandeling door de artsAgent kostte veel tijd.
  Peterʼs/His treatment  by the doctor  cost  much time
  'Peterʼs/His treatment by the doctor took a lot of time.'

      Just as with the unaccusative verbs, the subject of the corresponding transitive verb can sometimes be realized as a relational adjective, as illustrated in (348a&b), in which the geographical adjectives Amerikaans'American' and Rotterdams'of Rotterdam' can be taken to refer to the agents of the input verbs aanschaffen'to purchase' and aanleggen'to construct'. Once again we need to emphasize that such an analysis is by no means undisputed, as the adjectives in question may just as well fulfill the same function as in example (348a'&b'), in which they indicate nationality or origin and where they cannot be given an agentive interpretation. Finally, observe that the adjective cannot be interpreted as the theme, as illustrated in examples (348a''&b'').

Example 348
a. de AmerikaanseAgent aanschaf van de F-16
  the  American  purchase  of the F-16
a'. de Amerikaanse dollar
  the  American  dollar
a''. * de AmerikaanseTheme belediging door Engeland
  the  American  insult  by England
b. de RotterdamseAgent aanpak van de verpaupering van de armere wijken
  the  Rotterdam  approach  of the deterioration  of the poorer quarters
  'Rotterdamʼs way of dealing with the deterioration of the poorer quarters'
b'. de Rotterdamse haven
  the  Rotterdam  harbor
b''. * de RotterdamseTheme overschaduwing door Amsterdam
  the  Rotterdam  eclipse  by Amsterdam

      The examples in (346)-(348) confirm that, in non-generic contexts, ing-nominalizations derived from transitive base verbs normally require the presence of the theme; the presence of an agent argument makes no difference in this respect. The examples in (349) show that the various elements denoting the participants in the state of affairs ( van-PP, door-PP, genitive noun phrase or possessive pronoun) are indeed to be interpreted as arguments: there is room for only two arguments, that is, like their transitive verbal base, these inf-nominalizations have the adicity 2.

Example 349
a. * Hun verwoesting van de steden door de Romeinen eiste vele slachtoffers.
  their destruction  of the cities  by the Romans  demanded many victims
b. * Zijn behandeling van de patiënten door de arts kostte veel tijd.
  his treatment  of the patients  by the doctor  cost  much time

      As a general rule, it is impossible in non-generic contexts to express the agent without expressing the theme. This is possible, however, if the theme is recoverable from the context; example (350a) is not only acceptable as a generic statement, but also if we know who must undergo the intended treatment. Other apparent exceptions are constructions such as (350b), in which it is always possible to leave out the theme (and the agent); these constructions should not be considered ing-nominalizations, however, given that the head noun does not denote the event but the object produced by the action expressed by the base verb (and created by the agent). These constructions are dealt with in Section 2.2.5.

Example 350
a. Behandeling door/??van een artsAgent is veel duurder.
  treatment  by/of  a doctor  is much more.expensive
  'Treatment by a doctor is much more expensive.'
b. Ik heb een tekening van RembrandtAgent gekocht.
  have a drawing  by Rembrandt  bought
  'I have bought a drawing by Rembrandt.'
[+]  D.  Ing-nominalizations derived from ditransitive verbs

This subsection considers triadic ing-nominalization constructions, that is, ing-nominalizations derived from ditransitive verbs of transfer like uitreiken'to present', overdragen'to transfer/hand over', overhandigen'to hand over/deliver', and verschaffen'to provide'. As with inf-nominalizations, it is possible for ing-nominalizations to occur with all three arguments. In actual practice, however, such occurrences are very rare. More often one (typically the agent) or two (agent and recipient) of the arguments are left unexpressed. In non-generic contexts, the presence of the theme argument is required, whereas in generic statements like (351), the theme can be left unexpressed. In the following subsections, we consider those cases in which one or more arguments do appear.

Example 351
a. Een overdracht kost altijd veel tijd.
  a transfer  costs  always  much time
  'A transfer always takes much time.'
b. Uitreikingen zijn altijd feestelijke aangelegenheden.
  presentations  are  always  festive  occasions
[+]  1.  Ing-nominalizations with the theme argument expressed

The sentences in (352) are examples of ing-nominalizations based on ditransitive verbs in which only the theme argument is expressed. This argument preferably takes the form of a postnominal van-PP, but, in the case of a +human theme, a prenominal possessive pronoun or genitive noun phrase can also be used.

Example 352
a. De overdracht van de gevangenenTheme verliep snel.
  the transfer  of the prisoners  passed  quickly
  'The transfer of the prisoner passed of without any problems.'
a'. HunTheme overdracht verliep zonder problemen.
  their transfer  passed  without problems
b. De uitreiking van de prijzenTheme duurde lang.
  the presentation  of the prizes  lasted  long
[+]  2.  Ing-nominalizations with the agent and the theme argument expressed

Agent arguments take the form of a door-PP. In the unmarked case, the door-phrase follows both the nominal head and the theme argument, as in (353a&b). Reversing the order of theme and agent is normally impossible: examples like (353a'&b') are at best marginally acceptable with contrastive accent on the theme. In generic sentences like (353a''&b''), the result of reversing the order seems more acceptable.

Example 353
a. De overdracht van de gevangenenTheme door de bewakersAgent verliep snel.
  the transfer  of the prisoners  by the guards  passed quickly
a'. ?? De overdracht door de bewakersAgent van de gevangenenTheme verliep snel.
a''. ? Overdrachten door onervaren bewakersAgent van gevaarlijke gevangenenTheme dienen te worden vermeden.
  transfers  by inexperienced guards  of dangerous prisoners  should  to be  avoided
b. De uitreiking van de prijzenTheme door de voorzitterAgent duurde lang.
  the presentation  of the prizes  by the chairman  lasted  long
b'. ?? De uitreiking door de voorzitterAgent van de prijzenTheme duurde lang.
b''. ? Uitreikingen door voorzittersAgent van grote prijzenTheme duren altijd lang.
  presentations  by chairmen  of prestigious prizes  last always long

As shown by examples (354a&b), the agent can also appear as a possessive pronoun or a genitive noun phrase. In all these cases, the theme argument takes the form of a postnominal van-PP. In the case of a +human theme, the theme may also take the form of a possessive pronoun, in which case the agent appears postnominally as a door-PP, as shown by example (354c).

Example 354
a. Hun/Jan en PetersAgent overdracht van de gevangenenTheme verliep snel.
  their/Jan and Peterʼs  transfer  of the prisoners  passed  quickly
b. Zijn/JansAgent uitreiking van de prijzenTheme duurde lang.
  his/Janʼs  presentation  of the prizes  lasted  long
c. ? HunTheme overdracht door de bewakersAgent verliep snel.
  their  transfer  by the guards  passed  quickly
[+]  3.  Ing-nominalizations with the theme and the recipient argument expressed

Alternatively, it may be the recipient argument that co-occurs with the theme argument. As is shown in the primeless examples in (355), the recipient always takes the form of a postnominal aan-PP following the theme. The primed examples show that the order with the recipient aan-PP preceding the theme is degraded, even in the doubly-primed, generic examples.

Example 355
a. De overdracht van de gevangenenTheme aan de politieRec verliep snel.
  the transfer  of the prisoners  to the police  passed  quickly
a'. ?? De overdracht aan de politieRec van de gevangenenTheme verliep snel.
a''. ?? Overdrachten aan jonge politieagentenRec van gevaarlijke gevangenenTheme dienen te worden vermeden.
  transfers  to young policemen  of dangerous prisoners  ought  to be  avoided
b. De uitreiking van de prijzenTheme aan de winnaarsRec duurde lang.
  the presentation  of the prizes  to the winners  lasted  long
b'. ?? De uitreiking aan de winnaarsRec van de prijzenTheme duurde lang.
b''. ?? Uitreikingen aan winnaarsRec van grote prijzenTheme duren altijd lang.
  presentations  to winners  of prestigious prizes  last  always  long

The examples in (356a&b) show that the recipient argument cannot appear as a prenominal possessive pronoun or genitive noun phrase. This position can only be taken by the theme with the recipient appearing as an aan-PP in postnominal position, as in (356c).

Example 356
a. * Hun/PetersRec overdracht van de gevangenenTheme verliep snel.
  their/ Peterʼs  transfer  of the prisoners  passed  quickly
b. * Hun/PetersRec uitreiking van de prijzenTheme duurde lang.
  their/ Peterʼs  presentation  of the prizes  lasted  long
c. Hun/PetersTheme overdracht aan de politieRec verliep snel.
  their/Peterʼs  transfer  to the police  passed  quickly
[+]  4.  Ing-nominalizations with all three arguments expressed

Ing-nominalizations with all three arguments expressed are forced and will rarely be encountered. If all arguments appear as postnominal PPs, the preferred order seems to be that in which the theme (as a van-PP) is closest to the head, followed by the recipient aan-PP and the agentive door-PP, as in (357a). Reversing the order of recipient and agent, as in (357b), seems possible, which may be related to the fact that the aan-PP may undergo PP-over-V in the corresponding verbal construction. Reversing the order of theme and recipient, as in (357c), gives rise to a marginal result. The three other logically possible orders are unacceptable to various degrees, with the possible exception of the generic counterpart of example (357c): ?Overdrachten door onervaren bewakers van gevaarlijke gevangenen aan jonge politieagenten.

Example 357
a. de overdracht van de gevangenenTheme aan de politieRec door de bewakersAgent
  the transfer  of the prisoners  to the police  by the guards
b. (?) de overdracht van de gevangenenTheme door de bewakersAgent aan de politieRec
c. ? de overdracht aan de politieRec van de gevangenenTheme door de bewakersAgent
d. *? de overdracht aan de politieRec door de bewakersAgent van de gevangenenTheme
e. ?? de overdracht door de bewakersAgent van de gevangenenTheme aan de politieRec
f. * de overdracht door de bewakersAgent aan de politieRec van de gevangenenTheme

      The examples in (358a&b) show that both the theme and the agent argument can take the form of a possessive pronoun or genitive noun phrase. With a prenominal theme the postnominal recipient- and agent-PP again seem to be able to appear in either order, whereas in the case of a prenominal agent it is clearly preferred that the theme-PP precedes the recipient. The unacceptability of (358c) shows again that a recipient argument cannot appear as a prenominal possessive pronoun or genitive noun phrase; cf. example (356).

Example 358
a. hun/PetersTheme overdracht aan de politieRec door de bewakersAgent
  their/Peterʼs  transfer  to the police  by the guards
a'. (?) hun/PetersTheme overdracht door de bewakersAgent aan de politieRec
b. hun/PetersAgent overdracht van de gevangenenTheme aan de politieRec
  their/Peterʼs  transfer  of the prisoners  to the police
b'. ?? hun/PetersAgent overdracht aan de politieRec van de gevangenenTheme
c. * hun/PetersRec overdracht van de gevangenenTheme door de bewakersAgent
  their/Peterʼs  transfer  of the prisoners  by the guards
[+]  E.  Ing-nominalizations derived from verbs with prepositional arguments

Ing-nominalizations can also inherit PP-arguments from base verbs like jagen op'to hunt for', which select their own specific preposition. In all cases, the ing-nominalization inherits the preposition selected by the input verb: in the examples in (359) the theme does not appear as a van-PP, but as a PP headed by op. These examples also show that it is easier to place the agentive door-phrase in front of the inherited PP-complement than to place it in front of a theme that is realized as a postnominal van-PP; cf. (346). Possibly, this is related to the fact that these PP-complements may undergo PP-over-V in the corresponding verbal construction.

Example 359
a. De jacht op groot wildTheme door adellijke herenAgent is verachtelijk.
  the hunt  on big game  by noble gentlemen  is despicable
  'The hunting of big game by the nobility is despicable.'
b. De jacht door adellijke herenAgent op groot wildTheme is verachtelijk.

Another difference between these ing-nominalizations and those derived from transitive verbs is illustrated in the examples in (360), which show that in dyadic constructions involving inheritance of a PP argument, only the agent argument can appear as a possessive pronoun or genitive noun phrase, which suggests that the selected preposition must be overtly realized.

Example 360
a. Hun/JansAgent jacht op groot wildTheme is verachtelijk.
  their  hunt  on big game  is despicable
b. * Hun/JansTheme jacht door adellijke herenAgent is verachtelijk.
  their  hunt  by noble gentlemen  is despicable

      The inherited PP-argument need not be a theme; in the nominalization of the verb aanbevelen voor'to recommend for' in (361), for example, it involves a third argument of the verb (which we may conveniently assign the thematic role goal) that is preceded by the preposition voor instead of aan. The (a)-examples show that the theme argument preferably precedes the goal argument, and the (b)-examples illustrate again that it is easier to place an agentive door-PP like door de commissie'by the committee' in front of an inherited PP-complement than in front of a theme realized as a postnominal van-PP. The order in (361c) order in (361c), which combines the two dispreferred orders in (361a') and (361b''), seems impossible.

Example 361
a. De aanbeveling van JanTheme voor die baanGoal werd genegeerd.
  the recommendation  of Jan  for the job  was ignored
a'. ?? De aanbeveling voor de baanGoal van JanTh werd genegeerd.
b. De aanbeveling van JanTh voor de baanGoal door de commissieAg werd genegeerd.
b'. De aanbeveling van JanTh door de commissieAg voor de baanGoal werd genegeerd.
b''. ?? De aanbeveling door de commissieAgt van JanTh voor de baanGoal werd genegeerd.
c. * De aanbeveling door de commissieAg voor de baanGoal van JanTh werd genegeerd.

The examples in (362) show that also in this case either the agent or the theme argument of the ing-nominalization can appear prenominally as a genitive noun phrase or a possessive pronoun, whereas the goal argument must appear as a postnominal PP.

Example 362
a. zijn/PetersTheme aanbeveling voor de baan door de commissieAgent
  his  recommendation  for the job  by the committee
b. hun/Jan en PetersAgent aanbeveling van JanTheme voor de baan
  their/Jan and Peterʼs  recommendation  of Jan  for the job
[+]  F.  Ing-nominalizations derived from verbs taking a complementive

Unlike inf-nominalizations, ing-nominalizations do not normally accept as input verbs selecting an adjectival complementive (predicative complement). This is illustrated by the primed examples in (363), which show that these constructions are unacceptable regardless of whether the predicate is post- or prenominal.

Example 363
a. Jan is dood gevallen.
  Jan has  dead  dropped
  'Jan dropped dead.'
a'. * De <dood> val van Jan <dood> schokte ons.
  the  dead  fall  of Jan  horrified  us
b. De regering heeft het gebied veilig verklaard.
  the government  has  the area  safe  declared
  'The government has declared the area safe.'
b'. * De <veilig> verklaring van het gebied <veilig> (door de regering) verraste ons.
  the    safe  declaration  of the area  by the government  surprised  us

Exceptions to the rule that verbs taking an adjectival complementive cannot be the input of ing-nominalization are heiligverklaring'canonization/beatification' and goedkeuring'approval'. This may be related to the fact that in these examples the adjective and the verb are more or lesss fixed collocations; the adjectives may therefore be interpreted like a kind of verbal particle, which can likewise be part of ing-nominalizations: cf. onderdompeling'immersion', which is derived from the particle verb onder dompelen'immerse'.
      If the complementive is introduced by a preposition like tot'to' or als'as', ing-nominalization is also possible. This is illustrated in examples (364a&b). In such constructions the complementive can only occur postnominally; placing it in prenominal position results in ungrammaticality.

Example 364
a. De benoeming van Jan tot voorzitter was verstandig.
  the  appointment  of Jan  to chairman  was  wise
  'Janʼs appointment to chairman was wise.'
b. De kroning van Karel V tot keizer was een historische gebeurtenis.
  the  crowning  of Charles V  to emperor was  a historical event
  'The crowning of Charles V as emperor was a historical event.'
c. Peters karakterisering van ons voorstel als fantasieloos was onterecht.
  Peterʼs  characterization  of our proposal  as unimaginative  was not justified
d. Haar omschrijving van de reis als boeiend was ironisch bedoeld.
  her  description  of the trip  as fascinating  was  ironically  meant
  'Her description of the trip as fascinating was meant ironically.'
[+]  G.  Conclusion

      The preceding subsections have been concerned with the most important aspects of complementation of ing-nominalization, in particular the form and position of the various arguments and their relation to the nominalized head. Let us summarize the main points. In unaccusative ing-nominalizations, the theme argument is obligatorily present and typically appears postnominally as a van-PP. The theme argument of dyadic ing-nominalizations is also obligatory (when they have specific reference). This theme argument can be realized as a postnominal van-PP, in which case it is preferably placed adjacent to the head, or as a prenominal genitive noun phrase or possessive pronoun. The presence of the agent, on the other hand, is optional. In triadic ing-nominalizations, themes are typically expressed, while recipients and agents are often omitted. If the latter are expressed, they are realized as aan- and door-PPs, respectively, and follow the theme in postnominal position. The agent preferably follows both theme and recipient. In all cases, the theme and agent argument may also take the form of a prenominal genitive noun phrase or a possessive pronoun, provided that they are +human.
      Schematically, the above can be represented as in Table 8, which gives us the basic patterns of ing-nominalizations. This table does not include ing-nominalizations derived from verbs taking a PP-complement or a complementive introduced by als/tot, which are also inherited by the nominalization.

Table 8: The form and position of the complements of ing-nominalizations
type of verb pattern examples
Unaccusative N + van-PPTheme (339)
  NPs/pronounTheme + N (339')
Transitive N + van-PPTheme (+ door-PPAgent) (342)/(346)
  NPs/pronounTheme + N (+ door-PPAgent) (342')/(347')
  NPs/pronounAgent + N + van-PPTheme (347)
Ditransitive N + van-PPTheme (+ aan-PPRec) (+ door-PPAgent) (352)/(353)/ (355)/(357)
  NPs/pronounTheme + N (+ aan-PPRec) (+  door-PPAgent) (352')/(354c)/ (358a)
  NPs/pronounAgent + van-PPTheme (+ aan-PPRec) (354a&b)/(358b)

[+]  II.  Application of the complement/adjunct tests

The preceding subsection has shown that ing-nouns typically combine with PPs that correspond to the arguments of the input verb. However, since in many cases complements and adjuncts are not formally distinguished within the noun phrase, it is conceivable that some of these PPs are adjuncts. This subsection therefore applies the four tests that have been proposed in Section 2.2.1 to distinguish complements and adjuncts within the noun phrase to ing-nominalizations. The results of these tests confirm our assumption that the inherited arguments of ing-nominalizations are complements rather than adjuncts of the derived noun.

[+]  A.  Obligatoriness of PP

Ing-nominalizations can be seen as inheriting the argument structure of the input verb, with the nominal construction resembling the verbal construction as regards the number of arguments and their thematic functions. However, whereas the arguments of verbs must normally be explicitly expressed, this is not equally true of the inherited arguments of the corresponding ing-nouns. If the ing-nominalization is derived from a transitive verb, as in (365a), the theme must be present, whereas the agent can quite felicitously be left out. If the input verb is ditransitive, the recipient need not be expressed either, as shown by (365b).

Example 365
a. de vernietiging *(van de stadTheme) (door het legerAgent)
  the destruction     of the city    by the army
b. de overhandiging *(van de petitieTheme) (aan de ministerRec) (door JanAgent)
  the handing-over    of the petition  to the minister   by Jan

Observe that, if they are left out, the presence of the agent and recipient arguments is still implied and must be recoverable or inferable from the context. Under such circumstances, it may even be possible to leave out the theme, although this is much more likely to lead to a marked result. The examples in (366) show that Ing-nominalizations derived from verbs selecting a PP-complement essentially pattern with those derived from (di-)transitive verbs; the theme argument must be realized.

Example 366
a. de jacht *(op groot wildTheme) (door aristocratenAgent)
  the hunt     on big game    by aristocrats
  'the hunting of big game by aristocrats'
b. de aanbeveling *(van JanTheme) (voor de baanGoal) (door de commissieAgent)
  the recommendation     of Jan   for the job    by the committee
  'the recommendation of Jan for the job by the committee'
[+]  B.  Occurrence of the PP in predicative postcopular position

The examples in (367a-c) show that the van-PP of ing-nominalizations cannot occur in postcopular position. This is, of course, hardly surprising, as van-PPs in postcopular position are normally interpreted as possessive elements, whereas states of affairs, the denotation of ing-nominalizations, cannot be possessed. For completeness’ sake, the examples in (367c&d) show that PPs introduced by some preposition other than van cannot be used in this position either.

Example 367
a. * De daling is van de prijzen.
unaccusative verb
  the fall  is of the prices
b. * De behandeling is van de patiënt.
transitive verb
  the treatment  is of the patient
c. * De overdracht is van de gevangenen (aan de politie).
ditransitive verb
  the transfer  is of the prisoners   to the police
d. * De jacht is op groot wild.
verb with a PP-complement
  the hunt  is on big game
[+]  C.  R-pronominalization

The acceptability of the examples in (368) shows that ing-nominalizations allow R-pronominalization of theme arguments.

Example 368
a. De daling ervan veroorzaakte veel paniek.
  the fall  there-of  caused  much panic
  'Their fall caused a lot of panic.'
b. De verwoesting ervan heb ik niet meegemaakt.
  the destruction  there-of  have  not  prt.-experienced
  'I havenʼt witnessed its destruction.'
c. De uitreiking ervan vond pas ʼs avonds plaats.
  the presentation  there-of  took  only  in the evening  place
  'Its presentation didnʼt take place until the evening.'
d. De jacht erop is verboden.
  the hunt  there-on  is forbidden

R-pronominalization of agents or recipients, on the other hand, is excluded, which is illustrated by the unacceptability of the examples in (369).

Example 369
a. * De aanbeveling van Jan <ervoor> had geen succes.
  the recommendation of Jan  there-for  had no success
b. * De verwoesting van de stad erdoor kostte vele levens.
  the destruction  of the city  there-by  cost  many lives
[+]  D.  Extraction of PP

The PP-extraction test yields results that are far from unequivocal. The acceptability of these sentences depends on the ease with which a contrastive interpretation can be construed. Nevertheless, there appear to be differences in acceptability which neither context nor difference in verb type or number of arguments can account for.

[+]  1.  Topicalization

As can be seen from the examples in (370), topicalization of the van-PP is marked.

Example 370
a. ?? Van de koffieprijs veroorzaakte de daling veel paniek.
  of the coffee price  caused  the fall  much panic
  'The fall of the coffee price caused a lot of panic.'
b. ?? Van deze patiënt heb ik de behandeling met aandacht gevolgd.
  of this patient  have  the treatment  with attention  followed
  'I have closely followed the treatment of this patient.'
c. ?? Van de prijzen vond de uitreiking gisteren plaats.
  of the prizes  found  the presentation  yesterday  place
  'The presentation of the prizes took place yesterday.'

The result is generally completely excluded if an agentive door-phrase, or, in the case of a ditransitive construction, a second PP-complement is expressed. This is illustrated by the examples in (371).

Example 371
a. * Van Peter heb ik de vervanging door Els uitgesteld.
  of Peter  have  the replacement  by Els  postponed
b. * Van de prijzen vond de uitreiking aan de winnaars gisteren plaats.
  of the prizes  found  the presentation  to the winners  yesterday  place

Given that realization of a door-phrase or a second PP-complement normally requires that the theme argument be overtly expressed as well, the ungrammaticality of the examples in (371) suggests that extraction is excluded. This would imply that we are not dealing with extraction from the noun phrase in (370) either, but with movement of an independent restrictive adverbial phrases. If so, this means that the relative acceptability of the examples in (370) may be due to the fact that the restrictive adverbial phrase makes the theme argument of the noun contextually recoverable, and thus licenses it to remain unexpressed. In short, examples such as (370c) can be analyzed in a way similar to the fully acceptable example in (372) in which the bij-PP clearly does not function as a theme argument of the noun phrase.

Example 372
Bij deze patiënt heb ik de behandeling met aandacht gevolgd.
  with this patient  have  the treatment  with attention  followed
'With this patient I have followed the treatment closely.'

The examples in (373) illustrate that topicalization of PP-themes headed by prepositions other than van again also gives rise to equivocal results. Whereas a case such as (373a) seems at least marginally possible, the result in (373b) is highly questionable.

Example 373
a. ? Op (de/deze) herten is de jacht gelukkig verboden.
  on the/these deer  is the hunt  fortunately  prohibited
  'The hunting of (the/these) deer has fortunately been prohibited.'
b. * Aan deze drug heeft de verslaving al veel slachtoffers geëist.
  to this drug  has  the addiction  already  many victims  demanded

      Extraction of non-theme PPs is always impossible: (374) shows that neither the extraction of the agent, nor that of a recipient PP or some other (goal-like) third argument leads to acceptable results.

Example 374
a. * Door de Romeinen heb ik de verwoesting van de stad niet meegemaakt.
  by the Romans  have  the destruction  of the city  not  experienced
b. * Aan de politie verliep de overdacht van de gevangenen zonder problemen.
  to the police  passed  the transfer  to the prisoners  without problems
c. * Voor deze baan had de aanbeveling van Jan geen succes.
  for this job  had the recommendation  of Jan  no success

      For completeness’ sake, note that topicalization of the (non-theme) PP-argument in ditransitive constructions seems possible in cases such as (375), in which the van-PP refers to the agent, not the theme. However, the semantics of the example makes perfectly clear that the voor-PP functions as a constituent independent of the noun, as will be clear from the English rendering.

Example 375
Voor deze baan heeft de commissie de aanbeveling van JanAgent genegeerd.
  for this job  has  the committee  the recommendation by Jan  ignored
'As for this job, the committee has ignored the recommendation by Jan.'
[+]  2.  Relativization and questioning

Relativization and questioning of the PP-complement yield a somewhat better result than topicalization. In (376), this is illustrated for van-PPs in (di-)transitive constructions.

Example 376
a. (?) Dit is de patiënt waarvan de zuster de behandeling goed bijhoudt.
  this is the patients  where-of  the nurse  the treatment  closely  prt.-follows
  'This is the patient whose treatment the nurse closely follows.'
a'. Van welke patiënt houdt de zuster de behandeling goed bij?
  of which patient  follows  the nurse  the treatment  closely  prt
b. ? Dit zijn de prijzen waarvan de uitreiking nu plaats vindt.
  these  are  the prizes  where-of  the presentation  now  place  finds
  'These are the prizes of which the presentation will take place now.'
b'. Van welke prijzen vindt de uitreiking ?(??aan de winnaars) nu plaats?
  of which prizes  finds  the presentation       to the winners  now  place

The examples in (377) show that the result is generally completely excluded if an agentive door-phrase, or, in the case of a ditransitive construction, a second PP-complement is expressed. This again suggests that extraction from a noun phrase is prohibited, so that the examples in (376) may not involve extraction from the noun phrase either, but movement of an independent restrictive adverbial phrase. In (378) we show the same thing for theme-PPs introduced by some other preposition.

Example 377
a. * de jongen van wie ik de vervanging door Els heb uitgesteld
  of Peter  of whom  the replacement  by Els  have  postponed
a'. * Van wie heb jij de vervanging door Els uitgesteld.
  of who  have  you  the replacement  by Els  postponed
b. * de prijzen waarvan de uitreiking aan de winnaars nu plaatsvindt
  the prizes where-of  the presentation  to the winners  now  takes.place
b'. * Van welke prijzen vindt de uitreiking aan de winnaars nu plaats.
  of which prizes  takes  the presentation  to the winners  now  place
Example 378
a. het wild waarop we de jacht ?(*door adellijke heren) willen verbieden
  the game  where-on  we the hunt      by noble gentlemen  want  prohibit
  'the kind of game of which we want to prohibit the hunting'
b. Op welk wild willen we de jacht ?(*door adellijke heren) verbieden?
  on which game  want  we  the hunt       by noble gentlemen prohibit
  'Of which game do we want to prohibit the hunting?'
[+]  3.  PP-over-V and Scrambling

As with inf-nominalizations, PP-over-V often leads to highly questionable results; as shown in (379), results seem best for ing-nominalizations derived from unaccusative verbs.

Example 379
Test 4C: PP-over-V
a. (?) Ik heb de aankomst bijgewoond van Sinterklaas.
  have  the arrival  prt.-attended  of Santa Claus
  'Iʼve been present at the arrival of Santa Claus.'
b. ? Ik heb de behandeling gevolgd van deze patiënt.
  have  the treatment  followed  of this patient
c. ?? De regering heeft de jacht verboden op groot wild.
  the government  has  the hunt  prohibited  on big game
d. ?? Ik heb de uitreiking (aan de winnaars) bijgewoond van de prijzen.
  have  the presentation  to the winners  prt.-attended  of the prizes

The acceptability of the examples in (380) shows that scrambling seems at least marginally possible; all of the resulting sentences are, however, highly contrastive. This is true for all theme PPs, regardless of the preposition used or the type of construction (dyadic/triadic) in question.

Example 380
Test 4D: Scrambling
a. ?? Ik heb van Sinterklaas de aankomst bijgewoond.
  have  of Santa Claus  the arrival  prt.-attended
b. Ik heb van deze patiënt de behandeling gevolgd.
  have  of thise patient  the treatment  followed
c. ?? De regering heeft op groot wild de jacht verboden.
  the government  has  on big game  the hunt  prohibited
d. Ik heb van de prijzen de uitreiking ??(*?aan de winnaars) bijgewoond.
  have  of the prizes  the presentation        to the winners  prt.-attended

With non-theme complement PPs, neither PP-over-V nor scrambling is possible. This is illustrated in example (381).

Example 381
a. * Ik heb de uitreiking van de prijzen bijgewoond aan de winnaars.
  have  the presentation  of the prizes  prt.-attended  to the winners
a'. * Ik heb aan de winnaars de uitreiking van de prijzen bijgewoond.
b. * Ik heb de behandeling van de patiënt nauwkeurig gevolgd door de arts.
  have  the treatment  of the patient  closely  followed  by the doctor
b'. * Ik heb door de arts de behandeling van de patiënt nauwkeurig gevolgd.
[+]  E.  Conclusion

Table 9 summarizes the results from the previous subsections of the four tests for inherited theme arguments of ing-nouns. The third and fifth columns indicate whether the results provide evidence for or against the assumption that we are dealing with complements. The first three tests provide unequivocal evidence for complement status both of van-PPs and theme-PPs headed by other prepositions. The results of the PP-extraction tests seem to go against this, but we have seen that these tests are problematic in various respects, and may not be suitable for establishing complement status anyway. We therefore conclude that the theme functions as an argument of the derived noun.

Table 9: Theme complements of ing-nominalization: outcome of Tests 1-4
  van-PPs other PPs
Test 1: PP obligatory + positive + positive
Test 2: Post-copular position positive n.a. n.a
Test 3: R-pronominalization + positive + positive
Test 4A: Topicalization ? both positive and negative ? both positive and negative
Test 4B: Relativization/questioning +/?   +/?  
Test 4C: PP-over-V    
Test 4D: Scrambling ?   ??  

For recipient aan-PPs and agentive door-PPs it is more difficult to establish whether they are arguments of the noun. Only the first test is relevant for them, and it seems that this test provides evidence against assuming argument status: recipients and agents normally need not be expressed. However, given that recipients and agentive door-phrases are normally also optional in the verbal constructions, this is not conclusive. We will therefore assume that they have a status similar to the theme, which clearly does behave as an argument.

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