Date: Tue, 13 Feb 1996 17:12:17 -0500

From: "Salikoko S. Mufwene" s-mufwene[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UCHICAGO.EDU

Subject: Re: More on warp speed

On Tuesday 2/13 Bob Haas writes:

The reason I want to know why this is considered wrong is because we CAN

split our constructed infinitives in English. Of course, one can't split

a one-word infinitive in languages such as French or German or Latin, but

the very fact that we can do such in English simply means that we have a

little more flexibility in that particular aspect. I'd really like to

know because I'd like a little more to tell my interested students than

"Because . . . ."

My question is whether what is "split" is really the infinitive itself.

After all, we do recognize infinitives used without "to", as in "I saw Jean

LEAVE". Although the latter kind is called "bare infinitive", does being

"bare" necessarily entail that the infinitive occur without a needed marker

or could it also mean that the infinitive is intact but is missing a

grammatical morpheme that is often seen with it? Could "split infinitive"

also mean that the infinitive (still intact) is separated from that

grammatical morpheme that often accompanies it? By the way, is it normal to

speak of "split infinitive" in constructions such as "to not come" (as a

variant of "not to come")?



Salikoko S. Mufwene s-mufwene[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

University of Chicago 312-702-8531; FAX 312-702-9861

Department of Linguistics

1010 East 59th Street

Chicago, IL 60637