Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Rise of the To-Infinitive$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Bettelou Los

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199274765

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199274765.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 September 2020



(p.3) 1 Introduction
The Rise of the To-Infinitive

Bettelou Los (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents an overview of issues of the to-infinitive discussed in the literature. It is usually assumed that the infinitive is a noun in Old English, and that, hence, the to-infinitive is a prepositional phrase; this entails that there has been a category change, which is usually argued to have taken place in Middle English. The author argues that the category change must predate Old English, as the to-infinitive is already completely verbal at that stage, which means that the syntactic innovations in Middle English cannot be due to a category change. Another traditional assumption that is discussed and rejected is the view that the to-infinitive gained ground at the expense of the infinitive without to, the so-called ‘bare infinitive’.

Keywords:   bare infinitive, category change, prepositional phrase, Old English, Middle English, Old English syntax, Middle English syntax

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .