Academic Journal of Modern Philology vol. 5 (2016)
The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin
Linguistic Contact and the Complementation of Regular Action Nominals in Irish
The paper discusses the range of complementation patterns available to regular action nominalizations in Irish and raises the issue of possible interference of English. Cross-linguistically, verbal nominalizations exhibit the process– result dichotomy, which is closely connected with the co-occurrence of NP and PP modifiers corresponding to event participants. In syntax-oriented accounts, such as Grimshaw (1990), Alexiadou (2001), Alexiadou and Grimshaw (2008), a distinction is made between Complex Event Nominals with an associated argument structure and Simple Event or Result Nominals which lack it. The basis for this classification is, among others, their ability to take obligatory arguments, license event-related PPs and the ability to pluralize. Doyle formulates a hypothesis that there may be some constraint in Irish “to the effect that nominalizations do not inherit the subcategorization frames of their verbal bases” (Doyle 2002: 101). In Grimshaw’s terms, this would amount to there being no Complex Event Nominals in Irish. This statement is argued to be too strong. However, it has to be conceded that verbal nominals characterized by a greater affinity to their source verbs are hard to come by, though not impossible, in Traditional Late Modern Irish and that they are more readily attested in Non-Traditional Late Modern Irish, i.e. in a variety influenced by English and L2 speakers of Irish (Ó Béarra 2007).
Keywords: Complex Event Nominals, Neo-Irish, Traditional Irish, language contact.