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Basic properties of nominalized gerundial infinitives

A gerundial infinitive behaves as a Noun Phrase (NP) outside its projection. Inside its projection, it may display a mix of verbal and nominal properties.


Gerundial infinitives may be nominalised. As a result, complements of gerundial infinitives may be licensed as complements to nouns are. So, the subject can be realised as a possessor:

Example 1

a. Bouke syn wurkjen
Bouke his work.GI
Bouke's working
b. Har laitsjen
her laugh.GI
Her laughing

Both the subject and the object can be realised in a fan of phrase:

Example 2

a. It wurkjen fan Bouke
the work.GI of Bouke
The working of Bouke
b. It skearen fan skiep
the shave.GI of sheep
The shaving of sheep

The gerundial infinitive can be preceded by an article or a demonstrative, as is illustrated below for the demonstrative:

Example 3

a. Dat laitsjen!
that laugh.GI
That laughing!
b. Sok wurkjen!
Such work.GI
Such working!

A gerundial infinitive may show up in all argument positions. The infinitival complements may be licensed in the way customary for either verbs or nouns. A minimal pair is provided below. In (a), the direct object is licensed in the nominal way, that is, in a fan of phrase following the infinitive, in (b), the direct object is licensed in the verbal way, that is, preceding the verb and without the preposition fan of:

Example 4

a. It smoken fan sigaren
the smoke.GI of cigars
The smoking of cigars
b. It sigaren smoken
the cigars smoke.GI
The smoking of cigars