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This chapter revisits my earlier work on to-inﬁnitives (Los 1999, 2005)in the light of the new insights about the spread of complementation patterns provided by De Smet (2013) and Rudanko (2015). Their investigations into the spread of the gerund as a verb complement beneﬁted from the fact that the gerund came into existence relatively recently, which made it possible not only to construct a scenario of how it spread through the system of verbal complementation, but also to date the various stages. Although the spread of the to-inﬁnitive took place too early for us to do the same, the distribution of the to-inﬁnitive in Old English (OE) did allow me to identify the niche in which it ﬁrst arose, and to suggest a scenario of its spread. De Smet’s concepts of broad and narrow paradigmatic analogy make it possible to construct a more ﬁne-grained scenario for the rise of to-inﬁnitives, as they also take into account semantic groups; this means that the original semantics of the individual groups of verbs, as reﬂected in their etymologies, may provide additional data. That etymologies of individual verbs can be very useful for such a purpose has been demonstrated by Lau (2015).
|Title of host publication||Categories, Constructions, and Change in English Syntax|
|Editors||Nuria Yáñez-Bouza, Emma Moore, Willem Hollmann, Linda van Bergen|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2019|
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- School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences - The Forbes Chair of English Language
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