Sunny Pydugadu

Ancient Greek philosophical texts, given their non-prototypical technical nature, offer an interesting empirical field to study a wide range of conceptualisations of abstractions, looking at nominalisations, specifically deverbal nouns(DN), and their usage in contexts for abstract thinking. In AGPT, DN refer to concrete and abstract concepts in a descriptive/visual way, i.e. ‘anchored’ to ‘what is known’. Indeed, they come into being via access to more concrete entities and events, i.e. by cognitive metonymic processes, as shown by the meaning of the verbal stem in determining that of its nominalisation.

DN in -sis, -mós, and –(s)ía traditionally form the class of nomina actionis whereas those in -ma that of nomina rei actae. Their distribution among lexical classes and their opposition in concurrent forms seem to validate a conceivable reading for the event/result distinction. However, several nouns show a more complex reading, and their analyses is far from being obvious.

My study aims to show how nominalisations in AGPT can lead us to a better understanding of the differentiation of event and result nouns by looking at their conceptualisations and showing how degrees of abstractness contribute to different patterns of suffixation. Therefore, my work would allow us not only to reflect on some important issues in contemporary linguistic debate, but also to show how historical languages, ancient Greek in particular, can still help us navigate issues at the intersection of philosophy and linguistics.