The Diachrony of Infinitival Patterns

  • According to Haider (2010), we have to distinguish three types of infinitival complements in Present-Day German: (i) CP complements, (ii) VP complements and (iii) verbal clusters. While CP complements give rise to biclausal structures, VP complements and verbal clusters indicate a monoclausal structure. Non-finite verbs in verbal clusters build a syntactic unit with the governing verb. It is only the last infinitival pattern that we address as a so-called coherent infinitival pattern, a notion introduced in the influential work of Bech (1955/57). Verbal clusters are bound to languages with an OV grammar, hence the well-known differences regarding infinitival syntax in German and English (Haider 2003, Bobaljik 2004). On the widespread assumption that German has been an OV language throughout its history (Axel 2007), we expect all three types of infinitival complements to be present from the earliest attestions of German.

Export metadata

Additional Services

Share in Twitter Search Google Scholar Statistics
ISSN:2210-2116 print
ISSN:2210-2124 online
Parent Title (English):Journal of Historical Linguistics
Place of publication:Amsterdam
Editor:Ulrike Demske, Łukasz Jędrzejowski
Document Type:Part of Periodical
Year of Completion:2015
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2020/02/04
Tag:history of German; infinitival patterns
Organizational units:Philosophische Fakultät / Institut für Germanistik
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 41 Linguistik / 415 Grammatik