On the Development of Control Infinitives in the History of English
田中, 智之TANAKA, Tomoyuki
123 , 2016-03-31 , 名古屋大学文学部
This paper aims to account for the development of control infinitives in the history of English, by investigating the changes in the feature specification of the infinitive marker to and the structure of to-infinitives. Paying special attention to the distribution and role of the infinitival morpheme, it is shown that control infinitives in Old English were categories of PP headed by to as a preposition which assigned dative Case to the following infinitive; in Late Middle English, the functional categories T and C were introduced in control infinitives, which led to the emergence of PRO as an infinitival subject. Then, the rise of five new constructions involving control infinitives is discussed as supporting evidence for the introduction of these functional categories in Late Middle English. Finally, it is argued that the historical change of negative infinitives is neatly accounted for by assuming that to could be merged either in T or C in Late Middle English, but its position was fixed to T in the sixteenth century due to the development of the complementizer for, as well as the decline of V-to-T movement in finite clauses.