Semantic (Ir)regularities in Action Nouns in Irish
Cross-linguistically, verbal nominalizations display a close semantic and syntactic affinity to their corresponding predicates. Another characteristic feature of action nominalizations is that they exhibit the process/result dichotomy. In the process of lexicalization, the meanings of nominals drift away from the core actional reading, and come to denote 'something material connected with the verbal idea (agent, instrument, belongings, place or the like)' (Marchand 1969, 303). Nominalizations
... Irish show a systematic polysemy between an abstract action reading and more concrete meanings such as result or object of activity, e.g. míniú 'explanation', ceartú 'correction', filleadh 'bend'. We can observe a cline with a non-count action nominal and a count result nominal as extremes. The ability to pluralize is a clear indicator of lexicalization, e.g. oiriúintí 'fittings, accessories', admhálacha 'receipts', socruithe sochraide 'funeral arrangements'. It will be demonstrated that the patterns of polysemy in verbal nouns are constrained by the lexical semantics of the base verbs. In the paper an overview is made of nominals related to verbs of different situation types (i.e. Vendler's (1967) classes such as states, accomplishments, achievements, activities), and different lexical semantic categories (i.e. verbs of creation, consumption, motion, speech act verbs, verbs of emission etc.). The study is based on the corpus of ca. 2300 verbs and their corresponding VNs from Ó Dónaill (1977).