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Hi,

1.  I wish for a chance to try it.

I always thought "to try it" modifies "a chance".  Together they make a noun phrase.  But someone argues that "to try it" can be a clause-level adjunct, ie adjunct, because it can be fronted:

2.  To try it, I wish for a chance.



I think even if sentence (2) works, there is a discernable difference in meaning, what do you think?  And how would you parse "to try it"?

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@Robby zhu posted:

Hi,

1.  I wish for a chance to try it.

I always thought "to try it" modifies "a chance".  Together they make a noun phrase.  But someone argues that "to try it" can be a clause-level adjunct, ie adjunct, because it can be fronted:

2.  To try it, I wish for a chance.

I think even if sentence (2) works, there is a discernable difference in meaning, what do you think?  And how would you parse "to try it"?

"Chance" licenses infinitival complements and hence "to try it" is a dependent in noun phrase structure, not an adjunct in clause structure. In other words, it's not a modifier but a complement of "chance".

Your example 2. is weird and probably ungrammatical.

Last edited by billj

Hi, Robby zhu—I second BillJ's answer. I was just about to explain the same thing, that "to try it" is not an adjunct at all, much less an adjunct of the clause.

To see how absurd it is to treat "to try it" as a clause-level adjunct, place "in order" before it. The meaning changes completely.

Some nouns, such as "chance," license infinitival complements, just as other nouns, like "fact" and "statement," license "that"-clause complements.

We cannot front an infinitival-clause complement of a noun, just as we can't front a "that"-clause complement of a noun.

  • I like the fact that it is spring.
  • *That it is spring, I like the fact.
Last edited by David, Moderator

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