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A continuum of deficiency for Basque infinitives

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Abstract

This paper makes two claims about non-finite constituents headed by the affixes -<i>tu</i>/-<i>i</i>/-<i>n</i>/-&#216; in Basque. First the semantics of these elements in modal contexts indicates that the standard analysis of these constituents as aspectual phrases is incorrect. We argue that -<i>tu</i>/-<i>i</i>/-<i>n</i>/-&#216; are merged as infinitival markers, which we take to be of category n. In perfective contexts the verb+-<i>tu</i>/-<i>i</i>/-<i>n</i>/-&#216; raises to a null perfective modal. Second, we argue that differences in behaviour of -<i>tu</i>/-<i>i</i>/-<i>n</i>/-&#216;-headed constituents across contexts are usefully expressed in terms of variation in the richness of nominal and verbal functional layers following Alexiadou et al. (2009, 2010, 2011).

References

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