English Infinitives

TRUDGILL Peter peter.trudgill at UNIFR.CH
Thu Apr 27 15:39:36 UTC 2006

The traditional dialects of some areas of southwestern England have, or used to have, special morphological marking on infinitives such that infinitives of transitive verbs consisted of the bare root, while infinitives of intransitive verbs (and objectless transitives) took the ending -y :

"I can't milk the cows today, can you milky?".

(There appear to be no phonological factors involved here.) Of languages which can be said to have infintives, do we know of many others which have this kind of transitive/intransitive distinction?

Peter Trudgill

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