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Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory

Founded by Gries, Stefan Th. / Stefanowitsch, Anatol

Ed. by Wulff, Stefanie

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The dual nature of Deverbal Nominal Constructions: Evidence from acceptability ratings and corpus analysis

Marco Baroni / Emiliano Guevara / Roberto Zamparelli
Published Online: 2009-05-06 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CLLT.2009.002


The Deverbal Nominal Construction of modern Italian belongs to a class of phenomena that present interesting theoretical challenges given their ambiguous status between morphological compounding and syntax. In this paper, we combine evidence from corpora and a systematic elicitation experiment to propose that Deverbal Nominal Constructions are actually a spurious class, including both true compounds and constructions that belong to the impoverished syntax of telegraphic language, signs and headlines. Besides providing results that allow us to maintain a stronger view of the separation of morpho-lexical and syntactic phenomena, the study also serves as a general illustration of how empirical methods from corpus analysis and psycholinguistics can be brought to bear on issues of interest to the general theory of language.

Keywords:: Italian deverbal constructions; compounding; headlinese; corpora; acceptability judgments

About the article

Published Online: 2009-05-06

Published in Print: 2009-03-01

Citation Information: Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory, Volume 5, Issue 1, Pages 27–60, ISSN (Online) 1613-7035, ISSN (Print) 1613-7027, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CLLT.2009.002.

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