The Split Infinitive in Middle English
A split infinitive construction denotes a type of syntactic tmesis in which a word or a phrase, especially an adverb, occurs between the infinitive marker to and the verb. The early instances of the split infinitive in English date back to the 13th century, when a personal pronoun, an adverb or two or more words could appear in such environments (Visser 1963-1973 II: 1038-1045). This paper investigates the split infinitive in Middle English with the following objectives: a) to trace the origin and development of the construction; b) to analyse the nature of the splitting adverb in terms of its etymology and lexico-grammatical features; and c) to examine the prosodic patterns contributing to the acceptance of particular splitting combinations. The source of evidence comes from the following corpora: Helsinki Corpus of English Texts, Innsbruck Corpus of Middle English Prose, Penn-Parsed Corpora of Historical English, Middle English Medical Texts, Middle English Grammar Corpus, and the Malaga Corpus of Late Middle English Scientific Prose.
Published online: 24 July 2015
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Cited by 2 other publications
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This list is based on CrossRef data as of 10 april 2022. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.