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Article: Infinitival copular complement clauses in English: Explaining the predominance of passive matrix verbs

TitleInfinitival copular complement clauses in English: Explaining the predominance of passive matrix verbs
Authors
Issue Date1998
PublisherMouton de Gruyter. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.degruyter.de/journals/linguistics
Citation
Linguistics, 1998, v. 36 n. 358, p. 1045-1063 How to Cite?
AbstractThis article first provides empirical evidence from the 100-million-word British National corpus in support of earlier less well documented observations that infinitival copular complements occur much more often with passive matrix clauses (e.g. Towns were thought to be organic or haphazard creations until recently) than with active matrices (e.g. One might even have though him to be angry), and then addresses the pending question of why this should be so. A previous explanation has invoked the different word order of the passive construction versus that shared by the active construction and finite complements, combined with the purported markedness of nonfinite constructions. The alternative explanation presented here is based on the fact that though finite complements and infinitives with active matrices share the same word order, their typical information structure is different, in that the subjects of the former can introduce "new" referents, while "givenness" seems almost a necessary condition for the subjects of the latter. It is claimed that the typical information structure of active matrices plus infinitives makes the construction a dispreferred one, because it leads to redundancy in referential continuity and causes conflicts between candidates for sentence topic/theme status, disrupting the thematic progression of the text. © Walter de Gruyter.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/143984
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 0.763
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 0.496
ISI Accession Number ID
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorNoël, Den_HK
dc.date.accessioned2012-01-03T04:44:27Z-
dc.date.available2012-01-03T04:44:27Z-
dc.date.issued1998en_HK
dc.identifier.citationLinguistics, 1998, v. 36 n. 358, p. 1045-1063en_HK
dc.identifier.issn0024-3949en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/143984-
dc.description.abstractThis article first provides empirical evidence from the 100-million-word British National corpus in support of earlier less well documented observations that infinitival copular complements occur much more often with passive matrix clauses (e.g. Towns were thought to be organic or haphazard creations until recently) than with active matrices (e.g. One might even have though him to be angry), and then addresses the pending question of why this should be so. A previous explanation has invoked the different word order of the passive construction versus that shared by the active construction and finite complements, combined with the purported markedness of nonfinite constructions. The alternative explanation presented here is based on the fact that though finite complements and infinitives with active matrices share the same word order, their typical information structure is different, in that the subjects of the former can introduce "new" referents, while "givenness" seems almost a necessary condition for the subjects of the latter. It is claimed that the typical information structure of active matrices plus infinitives makes the construction a dispreferred one, because it leads to redundancy in referential continuity and causes conflicts between candidates for sentence topic/theme status, disrupting the thematic progression of the text. © Walter de Gruyter.en_HK
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherMouton de Gruyter. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.degruyter.de/journals/linguisticsen_HK
dc.relation.ispartofLinguisticsen_HK
dc.titleInfinitival copular complement clauses in English: Explaining the predominance of passive matrix verbsen_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.emailNoël, D: dnoel@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityNoël, D=rp01170en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1515/ling.1998.36.6.1045en_US
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-0041746823en_HK
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-0041746823&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume36en_HK
dc.identifier.issue358en_HK
dc.identifier.spage1045en_HK
dc.identifier.epage1063en_HK
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000077679700001-
dc.publisher.placeGermanyen_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridNoël, D=26631968500en_HK

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