Most Romance languages permit the overt realization of the grammatical subject in infinitive clauses in a considerable number of configurations. Mensching has the following goals: to describe systematically Romance infinitive constructions with specified subjects, taking into account diachronic and dialectical varieties; and then to interpret these facts within a generative framework, examining how overt subjects in infinitive clauses are licensed and what determines their case and position. His findings call for a thorough revision of the principles that have been assumed for analysing the Romance languages. Mensching uses eight Romance languages in his comparisons, among them Italian, Sardinian, Romanian, Spanish, and Portuguese.
This book is bound to become a reference text for anyone interested in the properties of infinitival clauses in Romance. It is a valuable source of data and also advances our understanding of an interesting class of phenomena that before this book did not receive enough attention in the literature. Journal of Linguistics