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A new angle on infinitival and of -<i>ing</i> complements of <i>afraid</i>, with evidence &#8232;from the <i>TIME</i> Corpus

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Abstract

This article argues that an approach based on semantic roles offers a new approach to the variation between to infinitival and of -<i>ing</i> complements of the adjective <i>afraid</i>. While the semantic role of the higher subject does not appear to vary, control theory makes it possible to investigate the semantic role of the lower subject. No absolute rules can be given, but regularities that are of statistical significance can be observed. The study draws on the first three decades of the <i>TIME</i> Corpus for authentic data. The results shed light on the semantic interpretation of to infinitival and -<i>ing</i> complements in subject control constructions and open a new perspective on the relevance of semantic roles to argument selection.

References

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