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Nominalisation

Nominalisation are formed by changing words that


are not things (nouns) into a certain type of thing
(noun). For example:
from verbs: reaction from react or departure from
depart
adjectives: length from long; eagerness from eager
conjunctions: cause or reason from because; in
addition from and

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What is the thing?
The clown amused us for a
while.
What thing is this sentence about?

The amusement provided by


the clown faded.
What thing is this sentence about? Is it
the clown or the amusement?
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What is the thing?

The clown amused us for a


while.
Clown is the thing.

The amusement provided by


the clown faded.
Amusement is the thing.

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Nominalisation

The circus arrived in town with much


noise.
What thing is this sentence about?

The arrival of the circus was noisy.


What thing is this sentence about?

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Nominalisation
The circus arrived in town with
much noise.
Circus is the thing.

The arrival of the circus was


noisy.
Arrival is the thing.

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Checkpoint
If clown, amusement, circus
and arrival are all things, we
can call them nouns (names of
things).

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Nominalisation
Lets now consider two of these
nouns: clown and circus.
You can detect these nouns with
your five senses.

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Nominalisation
Reflect for a moment about whether detecting
things with all your five senses can truly be
said about nouns like amusement and arrival.
Youll probably agree that amusement and
arrival are a different sort of noun compared to
clown and circus. The first two are names of
concepts, ideas or phenomenon so there is
more to nominalisation than simply changing a
non-noun to a noun.
Now lets look at some nominalisations in
school.

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Nominalisation in Schooling
Nominalisations are only included in the Levels
because students are expected to understand
them in written and multimodal texts, including
teacher talk, from a young age. Students are
expected to start using them with ever
increasing complexity from about year 3.
- Across curriculum (e.g. attention, assessment,
co-operation, intelligence, behaviour)
- Mathematics (e.g. width, division)
- Science (e.g. sight, reproduction)
- Society & Environment (e.g. relief, invasion)

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Nominalisation in Science
Steam is coming off the hot water.
The first sentence might be typical language of a child in year 2 observing some
water being heated.

The water is evaporating. The second sentence


might be the language produced by a child in year 4 who has begun using the
topic words evaporating instead everyday words to explain the same
phenomenon.

Evaporation is occurring. The third sentence is


what a child at year 7/8 would be expected to write. It includes the nominalisation
evaporation which has come form the verb evaporating.

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Nominalisation in History
People coming here set up towns
along the coast. This is very spoken-like language.
The coast was settled by people
migrating to Australia. This sentence uses topic words like
coast, settled and migrating.

Migration to Australia resulted in


coastal settlement. The verb migrating has been changed
into the nominalisation migration and the verb settled changed into settlement.
This help the text more written-like.

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Nominalisation in the Levels

Locate Nominalisation in the left hand column in


Levels 7-14.
Read the examples across the Levels to see how they
progress.
At higher levels of schooling children are expected to
reflect on their own and others viewpoints and ideas
and may use nominalisations formed from thinking
verbs (eg to consider>consideration, to
reflect>reflection, to recall>recollection).

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Advantages of Nominalisation
Once a verb or other type of word is changed
into a nominalisation all sorts of grammatical
possibilities open up.
It becomes less cumbersome to discuss or
reflect upon the nominalisation.
Compare It was unfair when the settlers
colonised. with The unfair colonisation
Nominalisations as well as concrete nouns
can start doing things.
Compare The researchers discovered the
cause and then developed a cure with The
discovery lead to a cure.

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Optional Extension Activities

The remaining slides extend this


module by providing opportunities to
change isolated words and words
within sentences into nominalisations.

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Creating Nominalisations
Nominalisations are most often formed from
verbs (e.g. discover > discovery, achieve >
achievement, present > presentation, permit >
permission)

but they can also be formed from adjectives/


describers (e.g. brave > bravery, wide > width,
tense > tension)

and from conjunctions (e.g. because > cause,


whereas > difference, if > possibility)

and from prepositions (e.g. during > duration).

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Creating Nominalisations
The next few slides allow you to
change words that are either verbs or
adjectives/describers into
nominalisations from a couple of
learning areas. areas

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Complete the table of some
common nominalisations in Maths
Word Nominalisation

deep

addition

distance

multiply

estimation

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Some common nominalisations
in Maths
Word Nominalisation

deep depth

add addition

distant distance

multiply multiplication

estimate estimation

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Complete the table of some common
nominalisations in the Arts
Word Nominalisation

perform

movement

originality

exhibition

surrealism

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Some common nominalisations
in the Arts
Word Nominalisation

perform performance

move movement

original originality

exhibit exhibition

surreal surrealism

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Understanding Nominalisation
Original Version Nominalised Versions
They were She made an impression
impressed by how because she was brave.
brave she was.
They were impressed by
her bravery.

She made an impression


with her bravery.

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Write a version of the sentence using
nominalisations made from the underlined words
Original Version Nominalised Versions
Jill placed the
flowers perfectly on
the table.

The coach was


amazed by Ninas
brilliant effort.

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Some possible versions
Original Version Nominalised Versions
Jill placed the flowers Her placement of the flowers
perfectly on the table. on the table was perfect.
Jills perfect placement of the
flowers on the table delighted
everyone.

The coach was Ninas brilliance amazed the


amazed by Ninas coach.
brilliant effort. The coachs amazement was
due to Ninas brilliance.
NB It may not be appropriate to nominalise
every possibility

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Write less... Say more!
Nominalisation
Nominalisation changes verbs and other words into nouns. It makes
a
text more compact and more specific.
e.g., instead of saying
"When your body reaches an abnormally low temperature, you will
need to be taken to hospital",
use nominalisation:
Hypothermia requires hospitalisation.

Instead of saying: "How farmers protected their livestock from


the storm was the topic of the article",
use nominalisation: "Livestock protection was the
topic of the article.

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Nominalisation requires adding a suffix to the verb, to
change verb to noun.
Verb suffix Noun
Explore -(a)tion exploration
Supervis -ion supervision
e -ing farming
Farm -dom stardom
Star -al refusal
Refuse -age breakage
Break -ment amazement
Amaze

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