The English Infinitive
This is a series which aims to meet the need for books on modern English that are both up-to-date and authoritative. The texts are ideal for the scholar, the teacher, and the student, but especially for English speaking students in overseas universities where English is the language of instruction, or advanced specialist students of English in foreign universities. Although English is probably the most studied language in the world, this is one of the first systematic comparisons of infinitives with and without the use of "to". Patrick Duffley examines these uses adopting the semantic approach, which shows that the two infinitive forms each have a basic meaning which is capable of explaining all of their particular uses. The author has carried out detailed research for this book, examining over 24,000 occurences of the infinitive, as well as taking into account the observations of previous grammarians. The book challenges old assumptions that grammar is independent of meaning and should be dealt with in purely formal terms. It also fulfils a need for literature on an area of English grammar which has sometimes been presumed to be chaotic and unsystematic. The text is aimed specialists in linguistics and advanced students of English as a second language.