Verbs Taking “to+v” or “v+ing” as Their Complements: A Cognitive Grammar Account

Deliang Wang

Abstract


This paper intends to explain why some verbs take “to+v” as their complements while others take “v+ing” within the framework of Cognitive Grammar developed by Ronald Langacker. It is proposed that infinitives and present participles are perceived in different ways. They both lie on a continuum marked by a noun and a verb at two ends which can follow a matrix verb. However, the infinitive is more like a verb which profiles a process happening in the future, while the present participle is more like a noun which profiles a thing popping up as an immediate scope during the process of the matrix verb. Finally, two criteria are put forward to explain the reasons why verbs take “to +v” or “v+ing” as their complements. And more specific classifications and explanations about this construction are provided.  


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v6i5.6492

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