Insight into English Non-Finite Complements from Adverb Climbing

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This paper looks at Adverb Climbing (AC), a syntactic configuration in which an adverb preceding a verb
with an infinitival complement modifies the non-finite complement verb rather than the matrix verb.
(1) Alastair intentionally seems to have insulted Flora.
‘Alastair seems to have intentionally insulted Flora.’
I will argue that the availability of AC with Raising verbs in English (e.g. seem) indicates that they take
non-finite complements which lack a CP projection. In contrast, the non-finite complements of Control verbs
(e.g. try) are full CPs. I will also argue that AC for a limited set of T-modifying adverbs is possible with
English Control verbs that select for ‘temporally independent’ infinitives (e.g. want) because these verbs have
T-to-C movement within their non-finite complement clauses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-135
Number of pages13
JournalMcGill Working Papers in Linguistics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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