The binding hierarchy and infinitival complementation in English and in Polish

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The present chapter investigates different types of English infinitive taking predicates and their Polish-language equivalents with a view to accounting for the semantic mechanisms motivating the distribution of the infinitival complement in these two languages. The study takes as its point of reference Talmy Givon’s theory of ‘binding hierarchy’; according to which, there is a systematic correlation between the semantic properties of complement-taking verbs and the syntactic structure of their complements. The chapter takes a detailed look at how the binding hierarchy is exploited by both the English infinitive taking predicates and their Polish equivalents, and goes on to show that the latter are more sensitive to the nature of the relationship between the subject and the object referent of the infinitive taking predicates.


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