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Morphological developments affecting syntactic change

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Abstract

This article is concerned with the role of the morphological paradigm in syntactic change. The discussion focuses on syntactic change in infinitival complements and the distribution of these complements in the context of infinitive embedding verb phrases. I argue that the syntactic structure of the infinitival complements is closely related to the co-occurrence of inflectional exponents on the infinite verb forms. The presence of inflectional exponents on infinitive verb forms determines the quality of the functional syntactic category Infl in the infinitival complements. Syntactic changes in the structure and/or in the distribution of infinitival complements originate from paradigm alterations concerning the inflectional exponents of the infinite verb forms.

References

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