Edited by Irén Hegedűs and Alexandra Fodor
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 325] 2012
► pp. 215–228
This paper traces the historical development of the verb prefer, with a particular emphasis on its occurrence with non-finite complements. Special attention is paid to the spread of the ‘prefer to’ construction in the 19th century at the expense of ‘prefer -ing’, a development running counter to the prevailing trend of the expansion of the gerund form of complement, sometimes referred to as the Great Complement Shift. The prefer constructions are compared to other constructions encoding comparison and an explanation is offered as to why ‘prefer to’ was a comparatively late developer.
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