The maximal size of infinitives: a truncation theory of finiteness
Deniz Satik
November 2022

(New title: The Infinitive Size Generalization) This paper presents a systematic and detailed investigation into the infinitival left periphery in 17 languages. The survey indicates that languages can be split into five different classes based on the left peripheral properties of their infinitives. This leads to the following generalization on languages with infinitives: an infinitive cannot co-occur with a high complementizer (such as that in English). Although such an observation may seem trivial, assuming an articulated left periphery allows a redefinition of "that." This paper combines arguments that finiteness is a matter of clause size together with truncation theories of infinitives to argue for a novel understanding of finiteness, proposing precise and falsifiable definitions for finite and nonfinite clauses. In addition, the survey presents evidence in favor of the existence of novel and fine-grained cartographic generalizations on the left peripheral properties of infinitives.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/005910
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: To be submitted
keywords: finiteness, complementizer, infinitive, exfoliation, clause size, left periphery, syntax
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