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As an adpositional complement to be and modals involving an absentive change of location
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Incorporating to-infinitival clauses can function as the complement to the auxiliary verbs wêzebe and modals. On the one hand, their interpretation involves a change of location, more specifically, the subject of the selecting auxiliary verb is absent from the topical location of the discourse, which is the location in which the subject is normally expected to be. On the other hand, it involves an activity described by the infinitival verb which is correlated with the absence of the notional subject of the infinitival, which is identical to the subject of the selecting auxiliary verb. The following is an example of an incorporating to-infinitival clause.

Example 1

Omdat er hjoed te hierknippen is
because he today to hair.cut is
Because today he has gone to have his hair cut

The to-infinitival clause corresponds in a rough sense to an adposition denoting absence due to movement. So the type of infinitival clause given in (1) entails the clause in (2) as a characteristic property:

Example 2

Omdat er hjoed fuort is
because he today away is
Because he has gone today

Incorporating to-infinitivals with an absentive interpretation are selected by light verbs compatible with the particle fuortaway, such as wêzebe, geango and modal verbs. See also selecting a to-infinitive wêzebe, selecting a to-infinitive geango, selecting a to-infinitive bliuwestay, selecting a to-infinitive kommecome and selecting a to-infinitive modal.

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The to-infinitival shares with the intransitive adposition the property that it cannot occur to the right of the selecting light verb:

Example 3

a. ?*Omdat er hjoed is te hierknippen
because he today is to hair.cut
Because today he has gone to have his hair cut
b. *Omdat er hjoed is fuort
because he today is away
Because he has gone today
c. *Omdat er hjoed is nei Ljouwert ta
because he today is to Ljouwert to
Because he has gone to Ljouwert today

So the incorporated infinitival behaves like an adpositional complement. If the adposition co-occurs with the to-infinitival clause, the adposition occurs before the verb, and the to-infinitival can occur on either side of the verb:

Example 4

a. ?Omdat er hjoed fuort te hierknippen is
because he today away to hair.cut is
Because today he has gone to have his hair cut
b. Omdat er hjoed fuort is te hierknippen
because he today away is to hair.cut
Because today he has gone to have his hair cut

Placement on the right side of the verb is characteristic of non-obligatory adjuncts (see As an adjunct to verbs involving a change of location). It is a characteristic property of absentive adpositional infinitivals that incorporation is obligatory in case there is no overt adposition present. So the following two examples in which there is no incorporation are ungrammatical:

Example 5

a. *Omdat er hjoed hier te knippen is
because he today hair to cut is
Because today he has gone to have his hair cut
b. *Omdat er hjoed syn hier te knippen is
because he today his hair to cut is
Because today he has gone to have his hair cut

Placement of the non-incorporated infinitival clause to the right of the selecting verb is not grammatical either:

Example 6

*Omdat er hjoed is syn hier te knippen
because he today is his hair to cut
Because today he has gone to have his hair cut

Incorporation need not take place if the copula of motion has a complement in the form of an adposition of absence. If there is no incorporation, then the infinitival clause must be introduced by the non-finite complementiser, which is interpreted as an infinitival clause of purpose:

Example 7

a. Omdat er hjoed fuort is om syn hier te knippen
because he today away is to his hair to cut
Because today he has gone to have his hair cut
b. Omdat er hjoed fuort is syn hier te knippen
because he today away is his hair to cut
Because today he has gone to have his hair cut

The incorporated to-infinitival has the property that the infinitive may receive a passive interpretation, whereas the non-incorporated infinitival clause does not have this property.

Elements characteristically incorporated are the direct object or a verbal particle. It is somewhat marginally possible to incorporate both, as in the following:

Example 8

a. Omdat er hjoed te boekwerombringen soe
because he today to book.back.bring should
Because he intended today to go and bring back books
b. Omdat er te fotoynplakken moast
because he to photo.in.glue must
Because he had to go to stick photographs in an album

A subcategorised adjunct like lekkertasty, which is also used as a medial adjunct, may marginally be incorporated as well:

Example 9

?Omdat se te lekkeriten geane
because they to tasty.eat go
Because they go out to eat well

This type of incorporation has a productive collocational character.

Finally, if there is an overt adposition of absence, then the incorporating to-infinitival is more properly analysed as an adjunct than as a complement, as in the following example:

Example 10

Omdat er hjoed fuort is te hierknippen
because he today away is to hair.cut
Because today he is gone to have his hair cut
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x Literature

The literature refers to the to-infinitivals discussed here as prepositional to-infinitives: Dyk (2009), Hoekstra (1997:chapter 4), also in Hoekstra (1989).

References:
  • Dyk, Siebren2009De passive ynfinityf as absintyfUs wurk: tydskrift foar Frisistyk5817-34
  • Hoekstra, Jarich1989A note on the typology of te-infinitives in FrisianNowele1419-51
  • Hoekstra, Jarich1997The syntax of infinitives in FrisianGroningenRijksuniversiteit GroningenThesis
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