Vol. 160 (2010) ► pp. 132–137
A Corpus-Based Study of Nominalizations Predicated by English Deverbal Nouns In -tion (), . : Peter Lang, 2007. . ISBN ISBN 978-3-631-56901-6. . 275 pp. .
In A Corpus-Based Study of Nominalizations Predicated by English Deverbal Nouns in -tion, Michal Szawerna presents the results of his PhD research on -tion nominalizations. Szawerna’s approach is couched in the Cognitive Grammar framework as developed primarily by Langacker (1987 and 1991) and fits in with the traditional approach to nominalization in that it is essentially word-based (i.e. it focuses on the word level rather than on the nominalized NP as a whole or the discourse context in which it functions). As in most traditional analyses of nominalization, Szawerna takes the lexical-descriptive and aspectual properties of the base verb as starting point (described in cognitive terms) and then attempts to capture the distinct ‘profiles’ of the derivations in -tion in a schematic network of interrelated meanings. Since there are relatively few publications that have nominalizations as their sole focus (other monographs on nominalization are Marchand 1969; Heyvaert 2003; Nordrum 2007) and even fewer that consider derived nouns in -ion, Szawerna’s book is a welcome addition to the literature. Unfortunately, the carefulness with which the author tackles the issue is obscured by the book’s heavy-going style, long-winded explanations, repetitions and extensive use of abbreviations and cognitive terminology. The overall structure of the book, with only three chapters, two of which take up more than 100 pages, moreover makes for hard reading. Those willing to work their way through it, however, will find a rich overview of subtypes of -ion nominalizations and a serious attempt to map out the semantic intricacies of the -ion nominalization system.