Cognitive Grammar and English nominalization: Event/result nominals and gerundives

Chongwon Park, Bridget Park

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This article develops an analysis of event/result nominals and gerundives from a Cognitive Grammar perspective. By reviewing the previous research, we first point out that these phenomena are much more flexible than the extant research claims. Moreover, widely accepted generalizations concerning the phenomena are, at best, only partially true. We demonstrate that the said flexibility is ascribed to two different types of construals: [1] mass-like construal accompanied by reification and [2] zone-activation or metonymic shift. Event nominals arise, without respect to the types of the nominal affixes, when the relationship profiled by a verb takes an internal perspective. Result nominals arise through zone activation or metonymic shift in addition to the reification of the verbal base. Several grounding strategies apply to both event and result nominals, thereby yielding different realizations of instances such as (in)definite and possessive. We show that our analysis can be systematically extended to gerundives, which permit limited grounding methods. We also demonstrate that V-to-N converted event nominals are accounted for unproblematically in our analysis because the rise of event nominals does not rely on the nominalizing affixes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)711-756
Number of pages46
JournalCognitive Linguistics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 27 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to express their deep gratitude to the three reviewers of this article, who provided valuable comments and suggestions to improve it. A small portion of this article was presented by the first author at the 6th UK Cognitive Linguistics Conference held at Bangor University in July, 2016. The first author thanks the audience members who were present at the session and provided insightful and thought-provoking questions and comments. Particularly, he acknowledges Suzanne Kemmer, Klaus-Uwe Panther, and Linda Thornburg. Both authors would like to thank their colleagues at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD), who read various earlier versions of this paper: Becky Boyle, William Salmon, Dan Turner, and Liz Wright. This research was supported by the Dean’s Excellence Funds of the UMD College of Liberal Arts. The authors thank Dean Sue Maher for her generous support. After submitting this article, the authors received a copy of Rochelle Lieber’s book. Lieber (2016) makes many similar observations to ours concerning nominalizations, although her approach is remarkably different from theirs. The authors would like to point out that the lack of the discussion on Lieber (2016) is due to the publication timing, not because of the lack of importance of her contribution.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Cognitive Grammar
  • event nominals
  • gerundives
  • grounding
  • result nominals


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