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Is there a language which shows gender agreement in infinitives?

asked 2016-10-15 14:31:51 -0400

JanKat21 gravatar image

updated 2016-11-14 13:52:28 -0400

I am looking for a language which shows gender agreement and has inflected infinitives for a project discovering a very peculiar control phenomenon. In short, I am planning to discover which DP controls which infinitive in the following sentence: Peter persuaded Mary to be allowed to leave early. My research so far shows very interesting phenomena in subject-object control shift. It would be lovely to find a language with the above listed features.

Thanks is advance!

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answered 2017-07-25 08:25:26 -0400

Daniel Couto Vale gravatar image

Dear Jan Kat,

the answer to your question will depend on how you define infinitives, whether functionally or formally. If you consider a verb to be infinitive if it is called "infinitive" in a list of verb forms (formal morphology), you will probably not find an answer to your question. So I assume you have a functional understanding of what an infinitive verb is.

If you consider all verbs which are not a Finite verb to be infinitive, Brazilian Portuguese has many gender-inflected infinitive verbs. For instance, the active infinitive form of the verb receber in the clause complex "depois de recebidos os documentos, a banca iniciarĂ¡ a avaliacao dos candidatos" (after receiving the documents, the committee will initiate the evaluation of the candidates) agrees in gender and number with the goal of receiving, namely, the documents. Not with the actor of receiving, the committee.

Best regards,

Daniel Couto Vale

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answered 2016-10-21 09:44:56 -0400

ksteimel gravatar image

updated 2016-10-21 09:47:55 -0400

Swahili can have noun class markers (which are often likened to a grammatical gender system) on infinitives. However, this is only for objects so I don't think it can help resolve the control issues you're seeking to look into.

For example,

Ni-na-pend-a ku-ki-som-a

1s-pres-like-FV 15-7-read-FV

'I like to read it (7)'

The 'ki' noun class marker indicates that the thing read is in class 7 (kitabu, meaning book is in class 7).

However, there is still, presumably, subject control involving the first person singular marker 'ni'. Sorry

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Asked: 2016-10-15 14:31:51 -0400

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Last updated: Nov 14 '16