Passive Infinitive Clauses Dependent on the Verbs of Ordering: A View from the Naturalness Theory Perspective


  • Jerneja Kavčič Univerza v Ljubljani, Filozofska fakulteta, Aškerčeva 2, 1000 Ljubljana



linguistics, naturalness theory, passive infinitive clauses, Latin, Greek


The passive infinitive clause used after a verb of ordering, with the addressee left unexpressed, was a rather uncommon structure in Classical Greek. Its use increased in the Post-Classical period, and was still frequent in Early Byzantine Greek. In terms of the Naturalness Theory (NT), the passive infinitive clause is interpreted as the less sem natural variant than the active. In the pair of variants infinitive clause / finite object clause, on the other hand, the infinitive clause is the more sem natural variant. The NT can thus explain why it is the passive and not the active infinitive clause that makes the clause structure more transparent, and why it is likely that the increased use of the passive infinitive clause was a development internal to Post-Classical Greek.


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