A New Term: Nominalization


The word nominalization defines itself, since it is itself an example of a nominalization. When you turn a verb into a noun, you nominalize it, creating a nominalization. When you nominalize "nominalize," you create the nominalization "nominalization." Some exam-ples:
 
Verb Nominalization Verb Nominalization
investigate investigation perform performance
discover discovery impair impairment
 
Some verbs do not change their form when we nominalize them:
change change report report
study study review review
 
And all verbs turn into nouns (called gerunds, way back then) when we add -ing :
She reported the event. Her reporting of the event. . .
We studied the matter. Our studying the matter. . .
They changed their approach. Their changing their approach. . .
 
Some typical patterns of nominalizations:
 
Subject + empty verb + Nominalization
The data + are + proof of thesis.
 
There + is / was + Nominalization
There + was + committee agreement.
 
Nom. + empty logical verb + Nominalization
Failure + could result + in rejection of the budget.
 
In every case, to edit, we merely turn the nominalization back into a verb, find a subject for it, and recast the sentence:
 
Subject Action
The data prove the thesis.
The committee agreed.
If you fail, . . .
. . . we may reject your budget.