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2.4.2.Infinitival clauses with te

This section continues the discussion of clausal complements of adpositions with infinitival complement clauses.

[+]  I.  Complement clauses preceded by om

Dutch has three types of infinitival complement clauses, which are illustrated in (64). The first type is the bare infinitival accusativus cum infinitivo construction which occurs as the complement of perception verbs like zien'to see' and the causative/permissive verb laten'to make/let'. In the second type, the infinitival marker te'to' must be present. The third type can often be found in the same position as the second type, but is preceded by the preposition-like element om (often translated by English for but different from it by lacking the ability to assign case to the subject of the infinitival clause). Since bare infinitives like (64a) never occur as the complement of a preposition, we will focus below on the te-infinitives in (64b&c), in which PRO stands for the implied subject of the infinitival clause.

a. Jan zag [Peter vertrekken].
  Jan  saw  Peter leave
b. Hij beloofde Marie [PRO op tijd te vertrekken].
  he  promised  Marie  on time  to leave
c. Hij beloofde Marie [om PRO op tijd te vertrekken].
  he  promised  Marie   om  on time  to leave

The status of om in (64c) is unclear; some regard it as an infinitival complementizer, whereas others consider it a regular preposition. The former position seems the most plausible one. A first argument in favor of this position is that, like the complementizer dat'that', om seems to have no clear semantic content; both are just used to introduce embedded clauses. Another argument in favor of this position is that it is not the case that the verb beloven'to promise' in (64c) selects a PP headed by om; cf. Jan beloofde Marie (*om) dat boek'he promised Marie the book'. Finally, the examples in (65) show that, like dat, om may also appear if an anticipatory pronominal PP is present.

a. dat Marie er naar verlangt [(om) PRO op vakantie te gaan].
  that  Marie  there  for longs    comp  on holiday  to go
b. dat Marie er tegenop ziet [(om) te moeten verhuizen].
  that  Marie  there  against  sees   comp  to must move
  'that Marie doesnʼt like the idea of having to move.'

For these reasons we will assume that om is a complementizer. If it turns out that, despite the three arguments given above, the element om is a preposition, one must conclude that it is certainly not a preposition selected by the verb beloven in (64c) or the prepositions naar and tegen in (65).

[+]  II.  Adverbial infinitival clauses

This subsection discusses whether te-infinitives may occur as the complement of temporal or non-temporal adverbial PPs.

[+]  A.  Temporal clauses

There are only two types of temporal infinitival clauses. The first type expresses the anteriority relation before, as in (66a), and the second the posteriority relation after, as in (66b); temporal infinitival clauses expressing the relation of simultaneousness do not exist.

a. Alvorens (*om) PRO te vertrekken, kuste Jan zijn vader.
  before  comp  to leave  kissed  Jan  his father
  'Jan kissed his father before departing.'
b. Na (*om) zijn vader gekust te hebben, vertrok Jan.
  after  comp  his father  kissed  to have  left  Jan
  'After having kissed his father, Jan left.'

If we adopt the assumption that om is a complementizer, the ungrammaticality of (66a) with om present can be accounted for by assuming that alvorens is also a complementizer. From this it would follow that the two elements are competing for the same position, so that only one can be realized (viz. the one with semantic content). In order to obtain the same result for (66b), it must be assumed that na is also a complementizer.
      For the proponents of the complementation analysis of nadat'after', the same result could be obtained by claiming that infinitival clauses do not have (an overtly realized) complementizer, and that om, alvorens and na are all prepositions. But this would leave us with the problems indicated in Subsection I.

[+]  B.  Non-temporal clauses

Some of the sequences of the form P + dat in (63) have counterparts that consist only of P. Those who adhere to the complex complementizer analysis of doordat are likely to also analyze the elements door, in plaats van and zonder as complementizers. For the proponents of the alternative analysis, these cases involve regular prepositions taking an infinitival clause (without an overtly realized complementizer) as their complement.

a. [Door PRO hard te werken] werd Marie een belangrijk wetenschapper.
  by  hard  to work  became  Marie an important scientist
  'Marie became an important scientist by working hard.'
b. [In plaats van PRO te werken] zit Jan te luieren.
  instead of  to work  sits  Jan to loaf
  'Jan is being idle instead of working.'
c. [Zonder PRO iets te vragen] pakte Marie een koekje.
  without  something  to ask  took  Marie a biscuit
  'Marie took a biscuit without asking.'
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