The Internal Structure of Nouns, Nominals, and Gerunds: An Analysis of Their Relationship and Representation


  • Marcus Berger University of Georgia


Spectrums of lexical categories in languages are well-documented phenomena. Some constructions are “nounier” or “verbier” than others, though they might not fit purely into the categories of nouns or verbs. While these middle-ground constructions are recognized in the literature (see Ross 1973, e.g.), their representation is less studied in modern frameworks. I build on Abney’s (1987) dissertation concerning the DP in English, and place it into a Minimalist framework. In doing so, I propose the insertion of nominal and verbal projections at varying points in the syntactic hierarchy to represent selected nominal constructions, based on parallelisms in the hierarchical structures of nominal and verbal structures. Though the parallelism is not exact, I propose a dP projection to aid in the symmetry, presenting evidence to complete the spectrum on the nominal end. My investigation maintains the universality of nouns and verbs while providing an analysis of nominal forms using preexisting categories.