BARE INFINITIVAL COMPLEMENTS IN DUTCH
Ph.D. Dissertation, 1987
Bare Infinitivals (BI) are the complements that lack the infinitival
marker 'te' in Dutch, 'to' in English, etc. The BI exhibit a variety of
distinct syntactic traits across languages: they are alternatively opaque
and transparent for movement and binding; they block passivization of
the embedded subject; and they don't tolerate participle forms. The objective
of the study was to develop a uniform explanation for this cluster of
properties as they appear in Dutch, and to identify the extent to which
universal and language particular features play a role. Theoretical arguments
based on the role of INFL, the notion of government, and subcategorization
restrictions, as well as empirical evidence support an IP (bare S) analysis
of the BI. The distribution of parasitic gaps is shown to be compatible
with a COMP-less structure. The unmarked surface order of the BI-constructions,
(i.e. the 'verb-raised' order) is the result of a reanalysis process that
operates on the matrix and embedded verb(s) and which involves no actual
movement. The interaction of the principles of grammar and general well-formedness
conditions on phrase markers restrict the possible output of the reanalysis
operation. The reanalysis process accounts for the relative transparent
status of the complement, the inability to tolerate participle forms,
as well as for the ungrammaticality of the passive, while it avoids the
problems associated with a movement analysis. The effects of reanalysis
can be observed in the BI as well as in the control and raising complements.
The apparent ability of the control constructions to resist reanalysis
in some environments is the result of general restrictions on reanalysis
and of the requirement that PRO remains ungoverned. In English, the restructuring
that accompanies the reanalysis process in Dutch can not occur due to
the VO word order, explaining the different behavior of the BI-constructions
in the two languages.
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