Diacronia 4, August 1, 2016, art. A54 (p. 1–18)

On the origin of inflected “non-finite” forms: the infinitive vs the supine

Adina Dragomirescu1 2,, Alexandru Nicolae1 2,


1“Iorgu Iordan – Al. Rosetti” Institute of Linguistics, Calea 13 Septembrie 13, 050711 Bucharest, Romania
2Faculty of Letters, University of Bucharest, Str. Edgar Quinet 5–7, Sector 1, 010017 Bucharest, Romania


Received June 1, 2016
Accepted June 11, 2016
Published August 1, 2016

Key words

inflected infinitive
diachronic change
structure enrichment


This paper deals with two verbal forms which, despite being traditionally labelled as “non-finite”, display inflection/agreement. We will focus on the behaviour and origin of the inflected infinitive attested in Romance and in languages from other families, against which we analyse the novel inflected supine found in the north-eastern area where Romanian is spoken (comprising the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and the north-eastern part of the Romanian province of Moldova). The goal of the paper is to identify the common paths of diachronic change of these verbal forms and to put forward a formal account of the observed diachronic changes. From a diachronic perspective, our analysis shows that the functional structure of non-finite forms may become more enriched, a conclusion that is at odds with traditional findings, which generally argue for simplification, not enrichment of functional structure. At the same time, the proposed analysis also offers some insights into the diachrony of the supine marker de.


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    Text:2, A. D. <. & 2, Al. N. <. (2016). On the origin of inflected “non-finite” forms: the infinitive vs the supine, Diacronia 4 (August 1), A54 (1–18),
    BibTeX:@ARTICLE{dragomirescu 1 22016,
     author = {Adina Dragomirescu 1 2, Alexandru Nicolae 1 2},
     title = {On the origin of inflected “non-finite” forms: the infinitive vs the supine},
     journal = {Diacronia},
     ISSN = {2393-1140},
     year = {2016},
     month = {August},
     number = {4},
     eid = {A54},
     doi = {},
     pages = "(1–18)",
     url = {}


© 2016 The Authors. Publishing rights belong to the Journal. The article is freely accessible under the terms and conditions of the CC-BY Open Access licence.

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