The Rise of the To-Infinitive (Paperback)
  • The Rise of the To-Infinitive (Paperback)
zoom

The Rise of the To-Infinitive (Paperback)

(author)
£57.00
Paperback 354 Pages / Published: 15/02/2007
  • We can order this from the publisher

UK delivery within 3-4 weeks

  • This item has been added to your basket
This book describes the historical emergence and spread of the to-infinitive in English. It shows that to + infinitive emerged from a reanalysis of the preposition to plus a deverbal nominalization, which spread first to purpose clauses, then to other nonfinite environments. The book challenges the traditional reasoning that infinitives must have been nouns in Old English because they inflected for dative case and can follow prepositions. Dr Los shows that, even as early as Old English, the to-infinitive was established in most of the environments in which it is found today. She argues that its spread was largely due to competition with subjunctive that-clauses, which it gradually replaced. Later chapters consider Middle English developments. The author provides a measured evaluation of the evidence that to undergoes a period of degrammaticalization. She concludes that the extent to which to gains syntactic freedom in Middle English is due to the fact that speakers began to equate it with the modal verbs and therefore to treat it syntactically as a modal verb. The exposition is clear and does not assume an up-to-date knowledge of generative theory. The book will appeal to the wide spectrum of scholars interested in the transformation from Old to Middle English, as well as those studying the processes and causes of syntactic change more generally.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199208739
Number of pages: 354
Weight: 568 g
Dimensions: 230 x 160 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
...a great achievement, highlighting the systematic distribution of OE to-infinitives described in terms of argument structure, as well as providing solid arguments that to-infinitives were in competition with subjunctive that-clauses, with the former replacing the latter. Moreover this book is written in a manner accessible to both philologists and theoretical linguists, and hence provides a basis for everyone interested in the development of English infinitives. * Journal of German Linuistics *
The great merit of this book is certainly the impressive empirical work providing us with a systematic description of infinitival complementation in OE...[a] significant contribution...to our understanding of infinitival syntax in the history of English. * Ulrike Demske, Diachronica 24:1 *

You may also be interested in...

The New Penguin Russian Course
Added to basket
The Language Game
Added to basket
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
Added to basket
The Language Instinct
Added to basket
The Language Lover's Puzzle Book
Added to basket
Mythologies
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
Positivity
Added to basket
£14.99
Paperback
The Art of Disagreeing Well
Added to basket
The Wife of Willesden
Added to basket
The Will to Power
Added to basket
The Owl and the Nightingale
Added to basket
Kingdom of Characters
Added to basket
£20.00
Hardback
Let's Sign Pocket Dictionary
Added to basket
Oxford Dictionary of Idioms
Added to basket
Sign Language Companion
Added to basket

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.