Aspects of the Grammar of Infinitives and For-Phrases

R. Faraci, 1974

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This thesis surveys a number of topics related to the grammar of infinitival for-phrases.  We begin by noting syntactic and semantic distinctions among three types of infinitive complements, which are called purpose clauses, objective clauses, and rationale clauses.  It is shown that these complements must be analyzed as for-phrases with sentential objects.

Next, semantic relations between NP’s and for-phrases are discussed, and the relevance of these relations to the analysis of control phenomena in the three clause types is considered.  It is demonstrated that “object deletion” in infinitival for-phrases is subject to conditions on the semantic relations obtaining between the controller NP and the for-phrase.

Basic semantic differences between gerundives, for-phrases and infinitival for-phrases are characterized.  Both are descriptive motivations for the action depicted in the matrix clause.  However, gerundive for-phrases characterize motivatin factors which are semantically prior to the action depicted in the matrix clause, while infinitival for-phrases describe intentions which are semantically posterior to the action characterized by the matrix clause.  In addition, complement subject control in gerundive for-phrases is examined.

“Object deletion” in purpose clauses is considered with respect to the sentential nature of this type of complement.  It is shown that if we analyze the object of for in this case as a reduced sentence, “object deletion” in purpose clauses ddoes not violate certain plausible conditions on rules.  Following a discussion of tough-predicates, the hypothesis is considered that the complements to the degree modifiers too and enough are for-phrases with reduced sentential objects.

Thesis Supervisor:         Morris Halle

Title:                             Professor of Modern Languages


Table of Contents

Chapter I          A Typology of Some Infinitve Phrases                                       7

            1          The distinction between infinitival relative clauses and infinitival

                        purpose clauses                                                                                    7

            2          Purpose clauses, rationale clauses, and objective clauses                       26

            3          Relevant aspects of phrase structure                                                      31

Footnotes to Chapter I                                                                                                 43

Chapter II        Semantic Relations and Control                                                 48

            1          Parallels with for-phrases                                                                      48

            2          On semantic relations between NPs and for-phrases                              66

            3          On control in infinitive for-phrases                                                         72

            4          Chapter summary                                                                                 91

Appendix A      A different kind of NP-for-phrase relation                                             92

Appendix B      Remarks on equi in purpose clauses                                                      99

Footnotes to Chapter II and appendices                                                                        106

Chapter III       A Digression on Gerundive For-phrases                                                123

            1          The prior-posterior distinction                                                   123

            2          Observations on control in higher-generated for-phrases                        146

Footnotes to Chapter III                                                                                               158

Chapter IV       Remarks on Object-Deletion                                                                170

            1          “Object deletion” and the internal structure of purpose clauses   170

            2          Remarks on tough-class predicates                                                       175

            3          Too and enough constructions                                                   187

Footnotes to Chapter IV                                                                                               206