Volume 34, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0929-7332
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9919


In contrast to finite verb clusters, non-finite verb clusters have thus far received little attention in the literature. In this paper, I present new data from a large-scale questionnaire study on variation in non-finite three-verb clusters in Dutch, investigating the position and presence of the infinitival marker ‘to’. The results reveal that a group of Dutch speakers allows to occur in a higher position than it should based on selection requirements. I propose that for these speakers has the morphosyntactic status of a clitic, whereas for all other speakers is a verbal prefix. I analyse Dutch verb clusters as cases of functional restructuring and -raising as an instance of clitic climbing, a well-known phenomenon from other languages with restructuring, such as Italian.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Aelbrecht, Lobke
    2009You have the right to remain silent: The syntactic licensing of ellipsis. Ph.D. dissertation, Catholic University of Brussels.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Barbiers, Sjef , Hans Bennis , Gunther De Vogelaer , Magda Devos and Margreet van der Ham
    2005Syntactische atlas van de Nederlandse dialecten. Deel I. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Bennis, Hans
    2000Syntaxis van het Nederlands. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. doi: 10.5117/9789053564141
    https://doi.org/10.5117/9789053564141 [Google Scholar]
  4. Bennis, Hans and Teun Hoekstra
    1989Generatieve grammatica. Dordrecht: Foris.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Cardinaletti, Anna and Ur Shlonsky
    2004 “Clitic positions and restructuring in Italian”. Linguistic Inquiry35, 519–557. doi: 10.1162/0024389042350523
    https://doi.org/10.1162/0024389042350523 [Google Scholar]
  6. Cinque, Guglielmo
    2001 “”Restructuring” and the order of aspectual and root modal heads”. In G. Cinque and G. Salvi , eds., Current studies in Italian syntax: Essays offered to Lorenzo Renzi, Amsterdam: Elsevier. 137–155.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Harwood, William
    2013Being progressive is just a phase: Dividing the functional hierarchy. Ph.D. dissertation, Ghent University.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. IJbema, Aniek
    2001Grammaticalization and Infinitival Complements in Dutch. Ph.D. dissertation, Leiden University.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Miller, Philip
    1991Clitics and constituents in phrase structure grammar. Ph.D. dissertation, Utrecht University.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Poletto, Cecilia
    2000The Higher Functional Field: Evidence from Northern Italian Dialects. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Rizzi, Luigi
    1982Issues in Italian syntax. Dordrecht: Foris. doi: 10.1515/9783110883718
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110883718 [Google Scholar]
  12. Ter Beek, Janneke
    2008Restructuring and infinitival complements in Dutch. Ph.D. dissertation, LOT Dissertation series.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Van de Velde, Freek
    2017 “Understanding grammar at the community level required a diachronic perspective. Evidence from four case studies”. Nederlandse taalkunde22, 47–74. doi: 10.5117/NEDTAA2017.1.VELD
    https://doi.org/10.5117/NEDTAA2017.1.VELD [Google Scholar]
  14. Wurmbrand, Susi 2001Infinitives: Restructuring and clause structure. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. 2017 “Verb clusters, verb raising, and restructuring”. In Martin Everaert and Henk van Riemsdijk , eds., The Blackwell Companion to Syntax. 2nd edition., Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell. doi: 10.1002/9781118358733.wbsyncom103
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118358733.wbsyncom103 [Google Scholar]
  16. Zwart, C. Jan-Wouter
    1993Dutch Syntax: A Minimalist Approach. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Groningen.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): clitic climbing; Dutch; non-finite verb clusters; restructuring; te-raising
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error