Title: Activity-oriented and characteristic-oriented constructions: the distribution of voice in the history of the post-adjectival infinitive
Authors: Van linden, An # ×
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing Co.
Series Title: English Text Construction vol:1 issue:2 pages:239-266
Abstract: This paper is a diachronic study of post-adjectival infinitive constructions with adjectives denoting goodness, fitness, or necessity. Traditionally these constructions are analysed as tough-constructions. They can be divided into two semantically and syntactically distinct types, viz. activity-oriented and characteristic-oriented constructions. This distinction can be used to explain the variation in clausal voice type that is found with the post-adjectival constructions from the Late Middle English period onwards. In addition, a distinction needs to be made between adjectives expressing necessity, which only occur in activity-oriented constructions, and those expressing goodness or fitness, which may occur in the two construction types. Voice variation is only meaningful for the latter type of adjectives: in characteristic-oriented constructions they tend to be construed with an active infinitive, whereas in activity-oriented constructions they appear with a passive infinitive. As such, the distinction between these construction types helps to explain formal properties of the post-adjectival infinitive construction.
ISSN: 1874-8767
VABB publication type: VABB-1
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Functional and Cognitive Linguistics: Grammar and Typology (FunC), Leuven
× corresponding author
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