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5.2.1.Om + te-infinitivals

This section discusses the use of om + te-infinitivals as arguments of main verbs. Such clauses are formally characterized by the fact that they are headed by a te-infinitive and can be preceded by the "linker" element om. Furthermore, they always contain an implied subject, PRO, which is normally coreferential with (controlled by) the subject or the object of the matrix clause, although it is sometimes also possible for it to receive a generic interpretation; examples are given in (346), in which coreference is indicated by means of coindexation and the index arb(itrary) is used to indicate that the generic reading is intended.

a. Jani beloofde Mariej [(om) PROi/*j dat boek te lezen].
subject control
  Jan  promised  Marie  comp  that book  to read
  'Jan promised Marie to read that book.'
b. Jani verzocht Mariej [(om) PROj/*i dat boek te lezen].
object control
  Jan  requested  Marie   comp  that book  to read
  'Jan requested Marie to read that book.'
c. Jan keurt het af [(om) PROarb te vloeken].
generic interpretation
  Jan disapproves  it  prt.  comp  to curse
  'Jan disapproves of cursing.'

The discussion is organized as follows. Section starts by showing that argument clauses in the form of an om + te infinitival have more or less the same distribution as finite argument clauses: they may have the same syntactic functions and normally follow the verb(s) in clause-final position. Section continues with a discussion of the categorial status of the linker om, which has been analyzed as a regular preposition but also as a complementizer-like element; although this issue is still not settled, we will for convenience gloss om by means of comp(lementizer) in the examples. Section will conclude the discussion of om + te infinitivals by investigating the implied subject PRO and the restrictions on its interpretation in more detail.

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