The present research project aims at investigating the event/result meaning contrast displayed by Italian nominals, with special attention to those derived from creation and redescription verbs, such as costruzione ‘construction, building’ and traduzione ‘translation’. The goal of this research is manyfold. First, we intend to verify whether the intriguing pattern of polysemy exhibited by these nominals may be analyzed as a special case of complex type, with the two constituents of the type analyzed as process and result-state, as proposed in Pustejovsky's Generative Lexicon (1995). Second, we wish to disentangle the factors that might be causing the difficulty in co-predication (i.e. simultaneous access to both subtypes, commonly regarded as the test for complex types) typically displayed by these nominals. Finally, we intend to provide a novel account of the polysemy of these complex nouns modeling the semantics of the building blocks (e.g. the affix and the base verb) in a generative frame for word formation.
The results of this study will help to provide a better understanding of the phenomenon of lexical polysemy and the interplay between aspectual and lexical properties of Action Nominals.
Financed by: FUR (Fondo dipartimentale Unico per la Ricerca)