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4.2. Finite and infinitival argument clauses
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We need to distinguish between finite and infinitival argument clauses. The examples in (16) show that the choice depends on the matrix verb: whereas propositional verbs like zeggen'to say' or beweren'to claim' can take either a finite or an infinitival clause, an irrealis verb like proberen'to try' is only compatible with an infinitival clause. Note that we assume that the infinitival clauses in the primed examples contain a phonetically empty pronominal element PRO that functions as the implied subject of the infinitival clause; we will discuss this element in more detail in Section 4.3.

Example 16
a. Jan beweert/zegt [dat hij morgen komt].
finite clause
  Jan claims/says  that  he  tomorrow  comes
  'Jan claims that heʼll come tomorrow.'
a'. Jan beweert /zegt [PRO morgen te komen].
te-infinitival
  Jan claims/says  tomorrow  to come
  'Jan claims to come tomorrow.'
b. * Jan probeert [dat hij morgen komt].
finite clause
  Jan tries   that  he  tomorrow  comes
b'. Jan probeert [PRO morgen te komen].
te-infinitival
  Jan tries  tomorrow  to come
  'Jan tries to come tomorrow.'

Replacing finite interrogative clauses by infinitival ones does not seem to be always possible. Although example (17a') is acceptable, it belongs to a more formal register of the language—in speech we only find more or lesss fixed forms like Hij vroeg me wat t e doen'he asked me what he was supposed to do'. Example (17b') is also acceptable, but the verb does not introduce a question; instead the embedded clause has the function of a request.

Example 17
a. Jan vroeg me [hoe hij die auto kon repareren].
finite clause
  Jan asked  me   how  he  that car  could  repair
  'Jan asked me how he could repair that car.'
a'. Jan vroeg me [hoe PRO die auto te repareren].
te-infinitival
  Jan asked me   how  that car  to repair
b. Jan vroeg Marie [of ze kwam].
finite clause
  Jan asked  Marie  whether  she  came
  'Jan asked (= inquired from) Marie whether sheʼd come.'
b'. Jan vroeg Marie [PRO te komen].
te-infinitival
  Jan asked  Marie  to come
  'Jan asked (= requested from) Marie to come.'

      That the verb determines the form of the clausal argument is also clear from the examples in (18), which show that while perception verbs like zien'to see' exhibit an alternation between finite and non-finite complement clauses, the causative/permission verb laten allows infinitival clauses only.

Example 18
a. Jan zag [dat Marie vertrok].
finite clause
  Jan saw that  Marie  left
a'. Jan zag [Marie (*te) vertrekken].
bare infinitival
  Jan saw   Marie     to  leave
  'Jan saw Marie leave.'
b. * Jan laat [dat Marie vertrekt].
finite clause
  Jan lets   that  Marie  leaves
b'. Jan laat [Marie (*te) vertrekken].
bare infinitival
  Jan lets   Marie   to  leave

A comparison of the primed examples in (18) with those in (16) shows us that the verb also determines the type of infinitival clause; whereas the verbs in (16) take te-infinitivals, the verbs in (18) take bare infinitivals. Section 5.2 will provide a brief introduction to the different types of infinitival clauses.
      It seems that there are only few verbs that can be combined with a finite but not with an infinitival declarative object clause. Manner of speech verbs seem to prefer a finite clause as their complement, but judgments on the corresponding infinitival constructions appear to differ from case to case and from person to person. This is clear from a Google search (3/16/2012) on the string [ V finite * te zullen] for various tense forms of the matrix verbs roepen'to call', schreeuwen'to yell' and huilen'to cry'. while there are countless examples in which these verbs are followed by a finite declarative clause, our search resulted in only a small number of cases in which they were followed by an infinitival clause. We found a relatively large number of examples such as (19a') with the verb roepen, but only two examples such as (19b') with the verb schreeuwen, and no examples such as (19c') with the verb huilen'to cry'. Nevertheless, the primed examples all seem passable for at least some of the speakers we have consulted.

Example 19
a. Hij riep jarenlang [dat hij nooit zou trouwen].
  he  called  for.years   that  he  never  would  marry
  'He called for years that he would never marry.'
a'. Hij riep jarenlang [PRO nooit te zullen trouwen].
  he  called  for.years  never  to will  marry
b. Ze schreeuwden [dat ze hem zouden vermoorden].
  they  yelled   that  they  him  would  kill
  'They yelled that they would kill him.'
b'. % Ze schreeuwden [PRO hem te zullen vermoorden].
  they  yelled  him  to  will  kill
c. Het jongetje huilde [dat hij gevallen was].
  the boy  cried   that  he  fallen  was
  'The boy cried that heʼd fallen.'
c'. % Het jongetje huilde [PRO gevallen te zijn].
  the boy  cried  fallen  to be

At first sight, the (a)-examples in (20) seem to contradict the claim that there are few verbs that can be combined with a finite declarative clause only, but the (b)-examples show that we should be careful not to jump to conclusions.

Example 20
a. Jan merkte/ontdekte [dat hij loog].
  Jan noticed/discovered   that  he  lied
a'. $ Jan merkte/ontdekte [PRO te liegen].
  Jan noticed/discovered  to lie
b. Jan merkte/ontdekte [dat hij honger had].
  Jan noticed/discovered   that  he  hunger had
  'Jan noticed/discovered that he was hungry.'
b'. Jan merkte/ontdekte [PRO honger te hebben].
  Jan noticed/discovered  hunger to have
  'Jan noticed/discovered that he was hungry.'

The contrast between the two primed examples seems to be related to the preferred interpretation of the implied subject PRO of the infinitival clause. First, consider the primeless examples with a finite clause: the most prominent reading of (20a) is that Jan noticed or discovered something about someone else, that is, the subject pronoun hij'he' of the embedded clause is preferably interpreted as referring to some individual not mentioned in the sentence; example (20b), on the other hand, is also compatible with a reading in which Jan noticed or discovered something about himself, that is, in which the subject pronoun hij takes the subject of the matrix clause as its antecedent. The contrast between the primed examples can now be accounted for by referring to the fact that the implied subject PRO of the infinitival clause differs from the subject pronoun hij in that it must be interpreted as coreferential with the subject of the matrix clause; this makes the interpretation of (20a') as unusual as that of (20a) if the pronoun hij is taken to be coreferential with the subject of the matrix clause. See Section 4.3 for a brief introduction to the restrictions on the interpretation of the PRO-subject of infinitival argument clauses.
      It seems that, besides restrictions imposed by the interpretation of PRO, there are various other factors that may affect the acceptability of infinitival argument clauses. The examples in (21), for instance, suggest that the verb voorkomen'to prevent' can only select finite clauses; the pronoun hij in the (a)-examples can without difficulty be interpreted as coreferential with the subject of the main clause but nevertheless the primed examples are severely degraded.

Example 21
a. Jan voorkwam net op tijd [dat hij zijn bril vermorzelde].
  Jan  prevented  just in time   that  he  his glasses  crushed
  'Jan prevented just in time that he crushed his glasses.'
a'. *? Jan voorkwam net op tijd [PRO zijn bril te vermorzelen].
  Jan  prevented  just in time  his glasses  to crush
b. Jan voorkwam net op tijd [dat hij viel].
  Jan  prevented  just in time   that  he  fell
  'Jan prevented just in time that he fell.'
b'. *? Jan voorkwam net op tijd [PRO te vallen].
  Jan  prevented  just in time  to fall

The examples in (22) show, however, that the primed examples improve a great deal when we add an adverbial phrase indicating causation or manner.

Example 22
a. (?) Jan voorkwam hierdoor net op tijd [PRO zijn bril te vermorzelen].
  Jan prevented  by.this  just in time  his glasses  to crush
b. (?) Jan voorkwam zo net op tijd [PRO te vallen].
  Jan  prevented  thus  just in time  to fall

The primed examples in (23), which are adaptations of actually occurring sentences on the internet, further show that examples like these become even better if the embedded clause is a passive or copular construction. Observe that the relevant issue is not that subjects of passive and copular constructions are internal arguments because the same thing holds for the subjects of unaccusative verb like vallen'to fall' in the (b)-examples above.

Example 23
a. Hierdoor voorkwam hij [dat hij gedeporteerd werd naar Duitsland].
  by.this  prevented  he   that  he  deported  was  to Germany
  'In this way he prevented that he was deported to Germany.'
a'. Hierdoor voorkwam hij [PRO gedeporteerd te worden naar Duitsland].
  by.this  prevented  he  deported  to be  to Germany
b. Zo voorkwam ik [dat ik zeeziek werd].
  thus  prevented   that  seasick  became
  'In this way I prevented that I became seasick.'
b'. Zo voorkwam ik [PRO zeeziek te worden].
  thus prevented  seasick  to become

Although there are more potential counterexamples to the claim that there are only few verbs that can be combined with a finite but not with an infinitival declarative clause, we will conclude by pointing out the contrast between the two examples in (24). The reason why (24a) does not have an infinitival counterpart might simply be that we are dealing with an idiomatic expression (which is also listed as such in dictionaries); the options for substituting the finite clause in (24a) are very limited.

Example 24
a. Ik maakte [dat ik wegkwam].
  made   that  away-came
  'I got out as quickly as I could.'
b. * Ik maakte [PRO weg te komen].
  I made  away  to come

The examples in (25) suggest that there are also few verbs that can be combined with a finite but not with an infinitival prepositional object clause: the (a)-examples show that verbs such as verwachten'to expect' that normally take finite PO-clauses also allow infinitival complements; verbs such as vragen'to request' that normally take infinitival PO-clauses give rise to a degraded result with finite complements.

Example 25
a. Jan verwacht [dat hij wordt uitgenodigd].
  Jan expects   that  he  is  prt-invited
  'Jan expects that heʼll be invited.'
a'. Jan verwacht uitgenodigd te worden.
  Jan expects  prt.-invited  to be
  'Jan expects to be invited.'
b. Jan vraagt Marie [PRO te vertrekken].
  Jan asks  Marie  to leave
  'Jan asks Marie to leave.'
b'. ?? Jan vraagt Marie [dat zij vertrekt].
  Jan  asks  Marie   that  she  leaves

To our knowledge the factors affecting the acceptability of infinitival argument clauses have not been studied in detail but we provisionally conclude on the basis of the discussion above that verbs selecting a finite declarative argument clause may also take an infinitival clause in the normal course of things, but not necessarily vice versa. Future research must show whether this conclusion is tenable.

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