Chapter in:English Noun Phrases from a Functional-Cognitive Perspective: Current issues
Edited by Lotte Sommerer and Evelien Keizer
[Studies in Language Companion Series 221] 2022
► pp. 136–167
From noun to verb
Modeling variation in the English gerund system
This chapter reassesses the paradigmatic relations between present-day English nominal and verbal gerunds by examining their variation potential at an abstract-schematic level as well as at token-level. Results show that functional overlap is mainly instigated by verbal gerunds taking up more typically nominal uses, thus creating the conditions for variation with the nominal gerund. However, a collexeme analysis reveals that there is actually very little lexical overlap between both gerund types, as nominal gerunds are more restricted in terms of the verbs they can derive from. Thus, while paradigmatic links between nominal and verbal gerunds are present on an abstract-semantic level, their distinct lexical profiles confirm their reorientation to other constructional families.