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Categoriality in Language Change – The Case of the English Gerund - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Categoriality in Language Change: The Case of the English Gerund

Lauren Fonteyn


This study presents the first elaborate attempt to set out a functional-semantic definition of diachronic transcategorial shift between the major classes “noun”/“nominal” and “verb”/“clause.” In English, speakers have different options to refer to an event by using “deverbal nominalization” strategies (e.g., Him guessing her size/His guessing of her size (was incredibly lucky)). Interestingly, not only do these strategies each resemble “prototypical” nominals to varying extents, it also has been observed that some of these strategies increasingly resemble clauses and decreasingly resemble prot ... More

Keywords: modern English, nominalization, verbalization, gerund, language change, diachronic linguistics, functionalist linguistics, cognitive linguistics, diagrammatic iconicity, gradience

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780190917579
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190917579.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Lauren Fonteyn, author
Assistant Professor in English Language, University of Leiden