In its function as infinitive marker, to is not generally considered to be a preposition. Nevertheless, we consider all uses of to for adposition supersense annotation because infinitive clauses (infinitivals) can express similar semantic relations as prepositional phrases.

Infinitival varieties of Purpose#

Most notably, infinitival purpose adjuncts alternate with for-PP purpose adjuncts:

  • Purpose:

    • Open the door to let in some air. 001

    • Open the door for some air. 002

    • I flew to headquarters to meet with the principals. 003

    • I flew to headquarters for a meeting with the principals. 004

Thus, from a practical point of view, we might as well treat infinitival to as capable of marking a Purpose.

The following list summarizes semantic analyses that we consider for infinitivals, which are detailed under Purpose:

1. Purpose adjuncts, whether are adverbial or adnominal. These are labeled Purpose. Some can be paraphrased with in_order_to.#

2. In a commercial scene, a service to performed in exchange for payment; labeled ThemePurpose.#

Repeated from the discussion under Theme:

3. Result infinitives, such as those in Goal#011, are labeled Goal.#

4. Constructions of sufficiency and excesstoo short to ride, not tall enough to ride, etc., where the assertion of sufficiency or excess licenses an infinitival—are labeled ComparisonRefPurpose or ComparisonRefGoal.#

See discussions at ComparisonRef and Purpose.

The non-semantic label `i applies to all other uses of the infinitive.

Infinitival with for-subject#

In #001, the infinitive clause has no local subject—rather, an argument of the matrix clause doubles as the subject of the infinitive clause (control). However, a separate subject can be introduced with for, in which case for+NP is treated as a dependent of the infinitive verb and labeled `i:

for_to infinitives#

These occur in some English dialects: for to infinitives

Other infinitivals#

Examples of infinitival tokens that do not receive a semantic label appear in `i.