For…to-infinitives are interesting for a number of reasons. First, within the present-day system of complementation, the use of for…to-infinitival complements is fairly regular. Second, from a diachronic perspective, the spread of for…to-infinitives within the system of verbal complementation is part of a much more extensive diffusional change, involving the spread of for…to-infinitives over an impressive range of different environments. Third, the current state of for…to-infinitival complementation and its historical development demonstrate the multifactorial character of both synchronic grammatical organization and diachronic diffusion, as well as the fundamental homology between the principles of usage and the principles of change. This chapter is organized as follows. Section 1 addresses the development of for…to-infinitives in general, with particular attention to how for…to-infinitives diffused over their current range of grammatical environments. Section 2 then covers the more specific development of for…to-infinitives within the system of verbal complementation.
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