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The complements of causative <i>make</i> in Late Middle English

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Abstract

The present paper discusses the complement forms of causative <i>make</i> in the fifteenth century. It shows that the verb is still followed most frequently by (<i>for</i>) <i>to</i>-infinitives towards the end of the Middle English (ME) period, and that the use of bare infinitives is not yet the rule. Simultaneously, the choice of complements appears to be subject to certain linguistic conditions. The <i>make believe</i> type, for example, displays a slight inclination to occur with bare infinitives. Also, the cognitive &#8220;integration&#8221; or &#8220;directness&#8221; between <i>make</i> and its complement seems to be relevant. Furthermore, the discussion demonstrates that Rohdenburg&#8217;s Complexity Principle explains a number of linguistic conditions related to the choice of complement forms.

References

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