The use of gerunds and infinitives in perceptive constructions

Jan Casalicchio

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


In this article I compare the use of gerunds with perceptive verbs in Spanish and in Gardenese, a Rhaeto-Romance variety spoken in Northern Italy: perceptive gerunds are used as secondary predicates in Spanish, but as defective TP-complements in Gardenese. Following Rizzi's (2014) account of parametric variation, I propose that the differences are due to the interplay of three parameters: a [+progressive] feature on Gardenese perception verbs, the pure lexical status of perception verbs in Gardenese and a [+Agreement] feature on Spanish gerunds. The discussion of the parameters involved leads to more general considerations, as a new proposal for the structure of perceptive ECMs in Romance, the confirmation of Folli/Harley's (2007) analysis of Romance causative constructions and the necessity of both the [+Agreement] and the [+Tense] feature in order to allow nominative non-finite subjects. The comparison with other Romance varieties confirms the role played by this parametric variation in perceptive constructions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTheoretical Approaches to Linguistic Variation
EditorsErmenegildo Bidese, Federica Cognola, Manuela Caterina Moroni
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherJohn Benjamins
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • overt non-finite subjects
  • Generative syntax
  • Romance linguistics
  • secondary predication
  • ECM-constructions
  • gerunds


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