IMCS/Publications/CSJM/Issues/CSJM v.12, n.1 (34), 2004/

Contrastive Meanings of the Terms "Predicative" and "Predicational" in Various Linguistic Theories (II)

Authors: Neculai Curteanu


This paper is devoted to a problem of lexical semantics, discussing various aspects gravitating around two distinct meanings of the terms "predicative" and/or "predicational" in some important and/or of particular interest linguistic approaches, trying to build a unitary mosaic image from "rocks" representing apparently disconnected examined viewpoints on the issue. The first meaning of the two terms is of semantic nature and corresponds to those lexical categories that introduce a true predication, i.e. an event-denoting structure, within or not the context of a predicate. Similar terms fitting this meaning are (e.g.) "deverbative", "deverbal" and "(de) verbality", "deadjectival", "nominalizations" and "event nominals", "postverbal", "predicator", "predicative", "predicativity" etc., while the proper term that we advocate is "predicational". The second meaning of the above mentioned terms is assigned, in general, to those non-verbal (nominal and adjectival) categories that, together with a finite auxiliary verb complex, make up a structural, analytic predicate. Its syntactic nature corresponds to those categories and phrases that contribute to make up a (finite or non-finite) predicate, but not necessarily introducing a true predication. The two meanings are crossly pursued in several approaches of special interest, a taxonomy of the verbal and non-verbal categories based on their intrinsic feature of predicationality is proposed, and its consequences on natural language processing are briefly referred.

Neculai Curteanu
Institute of Theoretical Informatics,
Romanian Academy, Iasi Branch
B-dul Carol I, nr. 22A, 6600 IASI, ROMANIA
E-mail :


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