Angelika Wöllstein-Leisten & Axel Heilmann

The Syntax-Semantics Interface
Conditions for Infinitival Complementation

Arbeitspapiere des SFB 340, Bericht Nr. 104 (1997), 23pp.
DVI (86kb); Postscript (287kb)1-up; Postscript gzip-komprimiert (74kb) 1-up , 2-up.


There is a common syntactic construction in West Germanic languages, the so-called 'coherent' infinitive. This construction is an alternative to sentential infinitival constructions. While with non-coherent infinitival complements we have two distinct argument structures, with coherent infinitives these argument structures are unified rendering a monosentential construction.

Although the syntactic conditions for the occurrence of coherent constructions are clear, there are verbs matching all these syntactic conditions but yet they don't allow coherent constructions.

In this paper we are working out some semantic condition ruling out the occurrence of coherent infinitives with a subclass of verbs. These verbs presuppose their infinitival complement, a fact which obviously entails the necessity for a full sentential representation of the complement.

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