University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics


In this paper, we argue that predicates of the tough-class in French embed not a verbal infinitive but rather, a gerundive verbal noun. This hypothesis allows us to capture a number of unexpected restrictions on French tough-movement discussed by Legendre (1986). We show that these restrictions are best described as the inability of French tough-movement infinitives to be followed by complements that are disallowed in their corresponding argument-taking event nominals. Our analysis of such infinitives as nominalized elements correctly predicts that they should never be selected by auxiliaries, and that they should have suppressed external arguments in the sense of Grimshaw (1990).