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@TheParser posted:

Of course, I will leave the answer  to the experts.

You are an expert, TheParser.

@TheParser posted:

Personally, however, I would be more comfortable with something like "This was the paper he planned on staying up all night to write."

I also feel that your version is better than Azz's. This is because, as modified, "staying up all night" is not in any way syntactically related to the object "the paper":

- He planned on staying up all night to write the paper.

Instead, in the original sentences:

@azz posted:

a. This was the paper he wanted to stay up all night and write.
b. This was the paper he planned on staying up all night and writing.

the parallel infinitives in (a) and the parallel gerunds in (b) make it sound as if the object "the paper" were related to both verbs, while "staying" is clearly intransitive and does not take an object.

@azz posted:

a. This was the paper he wanted to stay up all night and write.
b. This was the paper he planned on staying up all night and writing.

@TheParser posted:

Personally, however, I would be more comfortable with something like "This was the paper he planned on staying up all night to write."

You are an expert, TheParser.



Amen, Gustavo.

I also feel that your version is better than Azz's. This is because, as modified, "staying up all night" is not in any way syntactically related to the object "the paper":

- He planned on staying up all night to write the paper.

Instead, in the original sentences:

the parallel infinitives in (a) and the parallel gerunds in (b) make it sound as if the object "the paper" were related to both verbs, while "staying" is clearly intransitive and does not take an object.

Yes, "staying up all night" is not related to the object "the paper" within the relative clause; only "write" is, as it is in the following sentence:

(1) He stayed up all night and wrote the paper.

In (1), there is a compound predicate. "Stayed up" is an intransitive phrasal verb, and "wrote" is a transitive verb, taking "the paper" as the direct object. In honor of TheParser's contribution, I shall diagram this in Reed-Kellogg fashion:

stayed up all night

Normally, in a relative clause, the direct object of one verb in a compound verb phrase could not be extracted as the relativized element. Generative-transformational grammarians call this an "Island Violation," coordinate structures being "islands," syntactic entities out of which wh-movement cannot normally occur.

(2a) He swam for an hour and then ate a sandwich.
(2b) *That was the sandwich which he swam for an hour and then ate.
(2c) *What did he swim for an hour and then eat?

Nevertheless, although I too am more comfortable with TheParser's revision (replacing the conjunct verb phrase with the infinitival clause "to write __" after the intransitive verb phrase "stay up all night), I do not find either of Azz's sentences to be ungrammatical, as I do my examples (2b) and (2c) above, in the production of which I had to do violence to my English-speaking sensibilities.

I think that the reason sentences such as Azz's (a) and (b) are able to be marginally acceptable is that the conjunct verb phrase is related to the first either in terms of purpose or in terms of direction, or both. We can (almost comfortably, if not with full comfort) say things like "This is the carton of milk that he went to the store and bought." Consider, too, that we can say:

(3a) He stayed up all night writing a paper.

I don't find the following variant to be ungrammatical or very uncomfortable:

(3a) This is the paper he stayed up all night writing.

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Last edited by David, Moderator

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