• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show full table of contents
The form of the infinitival verb of the IPI-construction
quickinfo

The infinitival verb of the Imperativus-pro-Infinitivo (IPI)-construction has the form of a bare infinitive. It is homophonous to the imperative form of the verb.

readmore

As was noted in types of to-infinitival clauses, Frisian has four types of infinitives: the ordinary infinitive, the gerundial infinitive, the to-infinitive and the Bare Infinitive (BI). The bare infinitive is homophonous to the imperative: both involve a bare verb form. It is only the bare infinitive which is allowed in the IPI-construction, as shown below.

Example 1

a. As men ienkear de frijheid wend is, is it dochs wol moaier en wês op jinsels
if one once the freedom used is is it nevertheless DcP nicer and be.BI on oneself
Once one has become used to freedom, it is, however, more pleasant to live on one's own
b. *As men ienkear de frijheid wend is, is it dochs wol moaier en wêze op jinsels
if one once the freedom used is is it nevertheless DcP nicer and be.OI on oneself
Once one has become used to freedom, it is, however, more pleasant to live on one's own
c. *As men ienkear de frijheid wend is, is it dochs wol moaier en wêzen op jinsels
if one once the freedom used is is it nevertheless DcP nicer and be.GI on oneself
Once one has become used to freedom, it is, however, more pleasant to live on one's own
d. *As men ienkear de frijheid wend is, is it dochs wol moaier en te wêzen op jinsels
if one once the freedom used is is it nevertheless DcP nicer and to be.GI on oneself
Once one has become used to freedom, it is, however, more pleasant to live on one's own

So the bare infinitive only occurs in the IPI-construction, not in other constructions, and conversely, only the bare infinitive is found in the IPI-construction, no other infinitive is found in it. The bare infinitive is homophonous to the imperative. The IPI tended to feature the ordinary infinitive rather than the bare infinitive in older Frisian of the 18th century and earlier. The presence of the bare infinitive, which is now the norm, is a relatively recent phenomenon. In the transitional period, there are some odd occurrences of IPI-verbs, consisting of the imperative form of the verb to which a sjwa has been appended, as jouwe in (2). Alternatively, such forms can be analysed as examples in the present plural, to which they are homophonous. The example below involves an argument IPI:

Example 2

Wy meie der wol om tinke en jouwe de buorren gjin lêst
we may R DcP about think and give the village no nuisance
We should be careful not to cause any nuisance to the village

The verb form jouwe is homophonous only to the present plural, not to any other form in the paradigm of this verb. The example below involves an adjunct IPI:

Example 3

In pear fan jim moasten mar gau nei de boer en sjogge om in hynder te krijen
a few of you should DcP fast to the farmer and see for a horse to get
A few of you should quickly go to the farmer and try to get a horse

The matrix clause involves a modal without an overt infinitive inside its complement, followed by an IPI. This is not unusual. What is unusual is the presence of what appears to be a plural tensed form sjogge inside the IPI. Again, the verb sjoggesee is homophonous only to the plural tensed form of the verb.

Apart from rare examples such as (2) and (3), the verb of the IPI construction is homophonous to the imperative form of the verb. The verb is nonetheless referred to as an infinitival verb form here, since IPIs as a whole tend to correspond to infinitival clauses. In accordance with this, the verb of the IPI is semantically more like an infinitive than an imperative. However, it is also possible to argue the other way around and claim that the verb of the IPI should be referred to as an imperative on the basis of its form (as De Haan 1990 does).

References:
    Suggestions for further reading ▼
    phonology
    • Dutch
    • Frisian
    • Afrikaans
    Show more ▼
    morphology
    • Dutch
    • Frisian
    • Afrikaans
    Show more ▼
    syntax
    • Dutch
    • Frisian
    • Afrikaans
    • 6.4.2. Zijn + bare infinitive (absentive construction)
      [85%] Dutch > Syntax > Verbs and Verb Phrases > 6 Projection of verb phrases IIIc:Complements of non-main verbs > 6.4. Non-main verbs selecting a bare infinitive
    • 3.2.1.1. General properties of passives
      [84%] Dutch > Syntax > Verbs and Verb Phrases > 3 Projection of verb phrases II:Verb frame alternations > 3.2. Alternations involving the external argument > 3.2.1. Passivization
    • 6.2.1. Perfect auxiliaries
      [84%] Dutch > Syntax > Verbs and Verb Phrases > 6 Projection of verb phrases IIIc:Complements of non-main verbs > 6.2. Non-main verbs selecting a participle
    • 2.2.3. Resultative constructions
      [83%] Dutch > Syntax > Verbs and Verb Phrases > 2 Projection of verb phrases I:Argument structure > 2.2. Complementives (secondary predicates)
    • 4.4.2. Bare infinitivals
      [83%] Dutch > Syntax > Verbs and Verb Phrases > 4 Projection of verb phrases IIIa:Selection of clauses/verb phrases > 4.4. Three main types of infinitival argument clauses
    Show more ▼
    cite
    print