Voice neutrality in Hittite infinitives

A restructuring analysis


  • Ekaterina Lyutikova Moscow State University
  • Andrei Sideltsev Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences




infinitive, lexical restructuring, functional restructuring, control, raising, Hittite, voice alternation


In this paper we provide evidence for the lexical voice restructuring analysis of a certain type of infinitival complement clause in Hittite – the constructions that appear in both active and passive syntactic configurations. We confront this structure with alternative infinitive constructions which do not involve voice restructuring and show no voice alternation (size restructuring infinitive constructions) as well as with supine inchoative constructions, which are argued to exhibit functional restructuring. We propose that Hittite non-finite constructions are ambiguous as to voice interpretation only if they possess no voice-related head. In this respect, voice restructuring infinitives contrast consistently with other configurations -- size restructuring infinitives and supines. In voice restructuring infinitives, we find no evidence of the embedded vP, be it active (transitive) or passive (intransitive). Not only is the case feature of the infinitive's object dependent on the functional structure of the matrix clause; moreover, the causative interpretation of the unaccusative verb is imposed by the obligatory control condition on lexical voice restructuring.

Author Biography

Ekaterina Lyutikova, Moscow State University

Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, Professor