1996 Volume 13 Pages 248-276
This paper provides a unified account of the occurrence of possessive forms with two types of nominals, namely derived nominals with-tion, -sion, -al suffixes and action nominals in -ing forms. Based on the claim by Langacker (1987a, 1991) that the two differ in terms of construal of boundedness, it is argued that their semantic difference triggers various behavioral discrepancies. Having argued that the basic characteristics of the possessive construction in general is the reference-point function, two types of possessives are investigated, i. e. objective possessives and temporal possessives, from the point of view of the semantics of both the construction and the nominals in it. Regarding the former, a constraint which presupposes bounded construal of the event is formulated in terms of Croft's (1991) causal chain representation. Concerning the latter, it is argued that a temporal possessive in general requires boundedness of its identifying target.