About this book
1.1. AIMS AND ASSUMPTIONS This book presents an analysis of infinitival complement constructions in Old French (OF) from the perspective of the Government-Binding (GB) framework. It aims, therefore, to establish within the terms of the GB framework just how the OF constructions are to be characterized and in just what sense they can or cannot be compared with the corresponding constructions in other Romance languages. The GB framework is an articulated theory about the structure of language which is based on the view that the aim of research into language is to construct a description of language which accurately reflects its essential nature. Whilst we know that individual languages may appear to be superficially very different, we also know that all languages are capable of expressing complex concepts and that all children acquire mastery of the language or languages to which they are exposed. The task, therefore, is to determine both the properties which languages have in common and the bounds within which they may differ. In the pursuit of these aims, the study of various languages of the Romance family has provided a rich source of material for the develop ment of the descriptive apparatus. Evidence of the contribution supplied by such work is apparent in references to Romance material in Chomsky (1981, 1982), in volumes such as Jaeggli (1982), Rizzi (1982a), Kayne (1984b), Burzio (1986), and in numerous papers devoted to particular constructions in a variety of Romance languages.
Flexive Index Modus Negation Syntax Verb complements diachron infinitive morphology object pronouns subject syntactic