Finiteness is a central concept in many linguistic theories, yet it is poorly understood. In this squib, we provide new data that must be incorporated into current research on finiteness: the Latin infinitival structure known as the “accusative and infinitive” (AcI), which has properties that are typical of canonical nonfinite clauses, can be syntactically unembedded.

It is clear that this is unexpected. A common view—found in one variant or another in Hornstein 1990:115–117, 146–154, Klein 1994, Rizzi 1997, Bianchi 2003, Adger 2007, and Giorgi 2010—is that finiteness is responsible for anchoring the clause to the actual utterance (e.g., for the interpretation of tense). Since a root clause must be temporally anchored to the utterance time, one would not expect nonfinite clauses to be root clauses.

Finiteness has morphological, syntactic, and semantic dimensions, which...

You do not currently have access to this content.