Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton April 1, 2014

French expressive motion verbs as functional heads

Christine Tellier
From the journal Probus


This paper investigates the syntactic properties of a construction with aller ‘to go’ and venir ‘to come’ followed by an infinitive, where these verbs express the speaker’s emotions (surprise, annoyance, disapproval, etc.) about the event, and particularly about the agent responsible for bringing it about. It is shown that the infinitive following expressive aller and venir does not have clausal properties: it cannot be preceded by perfect auxiliaries nor can it bear sentential negation. In contrast with other uses of aller and venir (periphrastic future/past, conjectural, etc.), which are shown to be raising verbs, expressive aller and venir are argued to be functional verbs, merged into a functional head within the same clause as the infinitive (Cardinaletti and Giusti 2001, Cinque 2001, 2004a), in the modal domain below TP.

Published Online: 2014-4-1
Published in Print: 2015-5-1

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