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Auxiliary Verb Constructions$
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Gregory D.S. Anderson

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199280315

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280315.001.0001

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Aux-headed Constructions

Aux-headed Constructions

(p.39) 2 AUX-headed Constructions
Auxiliary Verb Constructions

Gregory D. S. Anderson

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents what is dubbed the ‘AUX-headed’ pattern of inflection. This is the one that is statistically the most common and characteristic of the better-known languages of the world (as well as a large number of lesser-known languages). In the AUX-headed pattern, the auxiliary verb is the inflectional head of the construction, indexing all obligatory verbal inflectional categories, with the corresponding lexical verb appearing in a dependent, nominalized, infinitive, or unmarked form. Such non-finite forms are given a range of designations, depending in part on such factors as other functions of the sam element within the grammatical system of the language concerned, the form and function of other elements with which it may contrast, or the metalanguage of analysis appropriate to various grammatical traditions. Terms such as infinitive, nominalizer, gerund, participle, etc., are common and often motivated language-specifically. The boundaries between various types of category of ‘non-finite’ forms of lexical verbs in AVCs may or may not be rigidly definable structurally in language specific terms, and are decidedly not so when viewed on a macro-comparative scale. Further, some languages allow variation between different forms of the lexical verb with the same auxiliary in the same function, while others show paradigms or semi-paradigms with more than one form obligatory in different forms (sometimes in a suppletively construed paradigm).

Keywords:   inflection, infinitive, nominalizer, gerund, participle, metalanguage, lexical verbs

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