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Grammatical metaphor: Nominalization

Nominalization examples

Things in the Middle Ages

So far we have looked at nominalized events and qualities separately. Now let’s look at them together, treating them both simply as nominalizations (processes or qualities that are being written about as if they are things).

Here’s a snippet with many nominalizations. Can you find them all?

Certainly sensuality, drunkenness, coarseness, greed, dishonesty, robbery, and violence existed in the Middle Ages; but probably the moral disorder born of half a millennium of barbarian invasion, war, economic devastation, and political disorganization would have been much worse without the moderating effect of the Christian ethic, priestly exhortations, saintly exemplars, and a calming, unifying ritual.