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2.2.3.Deverbal nouns

Some nouns seem to behave formally and syntactically like relational nouns, the only difference being that whereas relational nouns are non-derived, these nouns are derived from either verbs or adjectives. The present section is devoted to a discussion of the various types of deverbal nouns; deadjectival nouns are treated in Section 2.2.4. Like relational nouns, deverbal nouns take arguments in the form of a postnominal PP or a prenominal genitive noun phrase/possessive pronoun. These arguments may be said to be inherited from the input verb. The derived noun maker'maker' in (161a), for instance, requires the explicit or implicit reference to an object that has been or is being made, in this case dit kunstwerk'this work of art'. Similarly, the noun verwoesting'destruction' in (161b) requires a reference to the theme of the action, in this case de stad'the city'.

a. Wie is de maker van dit kunstwerk?
  who  is the maker of this work.of.art
b. De verwoesting van de stad veroorzaakte grote paniek.
  the destruction  of the city  caused  great panic

Deverbal nouns can be divided on the basis of their form and their behavior into the four classes given in Table 4. The mentioned affixes are the ones that are most commonly used in the derivation of the relevant classes, but these classes may also contain items that are derived by means of other affixes; see 1.3 for an overview of the alternative/irregular forms each of these types of nominalization can take.

Table 4: A syntactic classification of deverbal nouns
type of deverbal noun examples section
Agentive er-nominalizations
Bare nominal infinitives
  Nominal Infinitives with a determiner (det-inf) het maken‘the making’
het bewonderen‘the admiring’
het jagen‘the hunting’
ing-nominalizations vernietiging‘destruction’
ge-nominalizations gejaag‘hunting’

The sections devoted to the different types of deverbal noun distinguished in Table 4 all have the same overall structure. The main topic of each section is complementation: we will supply a discussion of the form and the syntactic behavior of the complements of deverbal nouns. This discussion is structured according to the type of input verb (intransitive, unaccusative, transitive, etc.) and the number of explicitly expressed arguments of the deverbal noun. Only those verbs that actually can be used as input for the derivation of the noun in question will be discussed; see 1.3.1 for a discussion of the restrictions on the relevant derivational processes.

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