The Position of the Subjectness of the Subject-less Conventional Infinitives
Keywords:subject-less conventional infinitives, control infinitives, SSR-infinitives, subjectness, lexical subject
The English conventional infinitive clauses have either overt or covert subjects. Previous analyses mainly used the PRO Theorem and Null-Case Approaches to show the distribution of the subjectness of the subject-less conventional infinitives. However, this paper investigated the position of the subjectness of the subject-less conventional infinitive clauses using the Minimalist Program’s Movement Theory of Control and the External Token Merge. In this qualitative paper, data was extracted from the previous English Ph.D. research studies conducted by English native and non-native speakers, and analysed using successive approximation analytic tools. The results demonstrate that the control and SSR-infinitives are generated in a similar fashion, which is why they share the type of subjectness. The base-generated PRO, which is claimed to be the subjectness of the control infinitives, is further revealed that is derived from movement. Therefore, for uniformity purposes, the subjectness of the control and SSR-infinitives is found to be a trace-copy (t) or a lexical subject positioned at the [spec-IP], [spec-TP], and [spec-vP]. The analysis suggested connectivity between the structure of the subject-less conventional infinitive clause and the position of the subjectness of the subject-less conventional infinitives as the structure of the subject-less conventional infinitives informs the distribution.
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