Priming vs. Inhibition of Optional Infinitival “to”

Robin Melnick, Thomas Wasow


Abstract
The word “to” that precedes verbs in English infinitives is optional in at least two environments: in what Wasow et al. (2015) previously called the “do-be” construction, and in the complement of “help”, which we explore in the present work. In the “do-be” construction, Wasow et al. found that a preceding infinitival “to” increases the use of following optional “to”, but the use of “to” in the complement of help is reduced following “to help”. We examine two hypotheses regarding why the same function word is primed by prior use in one construction and inhibited in another. We then test predictions made by the two hypotheses, finding support for one of them.
Anthology ID:
W19-2902
Volume:
Proceedings of the Workshop on Cognitive Modeling and Computational Linguistics
Month:
June
Year:
2019
Address:
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Venue:
CMCL
SIG:
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
11–19
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/W19-2902
DOI:
10.18653/v1/W19-2902
Bibkey:
Cite (ACL):
Robin Melnick and Thomas Wasow. 2019. Priming vs. Inhibition of Optional Infinitival “to”. In Proceedings of the Workshop on Cognitive Modeling and Computational Linguistics, pages 11–19, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Association for Computational Linguistics.
Cite (Informal):
Priming vs. Inhibition of Optional Infinitival “to” (Melnick & Wasow, CMCL 2019)
Copy Citation:
PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/W19-2902.pdf