Edited by Antje Dammel, Matthias Eitelmann and Mirjam Schmuck
[Studies in Language Companion Series 203] 2018
► pp. 269–296
Active and passive tough-infinitives
A case of long-term grammatical variation
This paper probes into the determinants of the long-term grammatical variation of active and passive tough-infinitives, as well as into the factors that ultimately led to the decline of passive tough-infinitives. It is argued that, throughout their coexistence, the active and the passive tough-infinitive are functionally equivalent and that the demise of the passive tough-infinitive is a concomitant of the extensive and rapid spread of the passive infinitive governed by be expressing deontic modality. It is further argued that, due to the surface similarity of the passive infinitive governed by be and the passive tough-infinitive, deontic modality percolates into the passive tough-infinitive, which expresses dispositional modality. Thus, the obsolescence of the passive tough-infinitive is driven by a clash in modality.
- 2.A brief history of the emergence and development of active and passive tough-infinitives
- 3.The diachronic trajectories of active and passive tough-infinitives
- 4.Functional equivalence or functional specialisation?
- 5.A long flirt turning sour
Tough-adverbialisation and concomitant reanalysis of the to-infinitive
- 5.1.1Adverbial adjectives and ‑ly adverbs as a putative, but unlikely catalyst
- 5.2Modal specialisation of the passive to-infinitive governed by be
- 5.3Till modality do us part
- 5.1 Tough-adverbialisation and concomitant reanalysis of the to-infinitive