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1.3.1.Deverbal nouns

This section deals with the derivation of deverbal nouns. We will start in with the most productive process, which involves the formation of infinitival nominalization by means of conversion (zero-derivation), as illustrated in the first two rows of Table 7. Two types of conversion are distinguished depending on whether the infinitival nominal is preceded by a determiner or not, and they will be referred to as det-inf and bare-inf nominalization, respectively. Conversion results in nouns that denote the same state of affairs as denoted by the input verb.
      The process of deriving deverbal nouns by means of affixation is far less productive than the derivation of infinitival nominals by conversion. Affixation typically derives nouns denoting state of affairs or (mostly human) objects. In to we will discuss the following affixes: the suffix -ing, which typically derives nouns denoting states of affairs or person nouns; the prefix ge-, which derives nouns denoting durative or iterative states of affairs; the suffix -er/-aar, which derives either person nouns or nouns denoting non-human agents/instruments.

Table 7: Nominalization
type example section
bare-inf nominalization [Boeken lezen] is leuk.
books read is fun
‘To read books is fun.’
det-inf nominalization [Het lezen van boeken] is leuk.
the read of books is fun
‘The reading of books is fun.’
ing-nominalization [De behandeling van de patiënt] was succesvol.
the treatment of the patient was successful
ge-nominalization [Het gezeur over zijn ouders]wordt vervelend.
the nagging about his parents becomes annoying
er-nominalization [De bedelaar] werd gearresteerd.
the beggar was arrested

Recall that we are not trying to be exhaustive here. There are other suffixes that can be used to derive nouns from verbs, such as -sel and -erij. These are, however, less productive than the suffixes discussed here, and typically (though not necessarily) appear without arguments. A discussion of these suffixes can be found in, e.g., De Haas & Trommelen (1993), Haeseryn et al. (1997), and Knopper (1984).

  • Haas, Wim de & Trommelen, Mieke1993Morfologisch handboek van het Nederlands. Een overzicht van de woordvormingSDU Uitgeverij
  • Haeseryn, Walter, Romijn, Kirsten, Geerts, Guido, Rooij, Jaap de & Toorn, Maarten C. van den1997Algemene Nederlandse spraakkunstGroningenNijhoff
  • Knopper, Rob1984On the morphology of ergative verbs and the polyfunctionality principleBennis, Hans & Lessen Kloeke, W.U.S. van (eds.)Linguistics in the Netherlands 1984DordrechtForis Publications119-127
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