The Project

1. General Description of the Project
Nominalizations figure prominently in both linguistics (syntax and semantics) and philosophy.
Nominalizations are of interest to syntacticians because of differences and similarities between the base from which the nominalization is derived and the nominalization (such as its argument structure and syntactic features). Semanticists studying nominalizations are interested in the connection between the semantics of the base expression and the semantics of the nominalization in particular because the nominalization can be used to form a referential term, referring, it appears to some object which is in some way related to the content of the base expression.
Nominalizations figure prominently in ontological discussions in philosophy since nominalizations appear to form terms that refer to abstract objects (such as propositions, properties, or facts) or ‘minor entities’ (such as events, states, or tropes). There is as yet very little interaction, though, between linguists working on the syntax and semantics of nominalizations and philosophers interested in the objects to which nominalizations apparently refer.
This research project aims to fill that gap, bringing together a number of linguists especially on the French side, some of which are involved already in research groups studying nominalizations, with a group of German philosophers with a focus on ontology. They will systematically explore questions that require the joint contribution of the two disciplines.
2. Subprojects
The questions will be approached in four Individual Projects (IP). They cover

  • the ontology of minor entities (IP1),
  • meta-ontological issues (IP2).
  • the semantics of ‘that’-clauses and attitude ascriptions (IP3),
  • quantification and semantic paradoxes (IP4).
3. More information
For a more detailed description of the project and its four subprojects, click here.