Наслеђе 48 (2021), стр. 255-267

АУТОР(И): Dejan M. Karavesović

Е-АДРЕСА: karavesovic@filum.kg.ac.rs

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DOI: 10.46793/NasKg2148.255K


The paper investigates the constituent status of infinitival com-plement constructions in the contemporary English language and their infinitival counterparts in the Serbian language. The motivation for this type of research has been found in the observation that the infinitival complements in both languages are either described by the term ‘clause’ or there is no terminological specification indicating their constituent status. As this may possibly lead to inconsistencies in the treatment of infinitival complements in terms of their grammatical description, this paper attempts to determine the nature of the constituent status of infinitival complements by the use of syntactic and semantic criteria presented in Dixon (2006). Drawing from the data collected from the sources on the topic belonging to both English and Serbian linguistic traditions, the analysis has revealed that when analysed at the level of surface-syntax the infinitival constructions in English indeed represent clausal constructions both in the structural and semantic sense, while the analysis of their analogue counterparts in Serbian goes in favour of grammatically treating infinitival complements as phrasal units, while acknowledging that traces of clausality exist at the semantic level of analysis. Given the crosslinguistic nature of the research, the obtained results may serve as a contribution to the grammatical descriptions of both analysed languages, but can also be of interest to the considerations of complement constructions within typological and contrastive studies in a general sense.


infinitival complements, English, Serbian, syntactic constituency, verb phrase, clause


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