This monograph offers a new analysis of West Germanic 'Infinitivus Pro
Participio' (IPP) constructions, within the framework of Optimality Theory.
IPP constructions have long been problematic for syntactic theory, because
a bare infinitive is preferred over the expected past participle. The book
shows how the substitution of the past participle by the infinitive in IPP
constructions can be captured straightforwardly if constraints are assumed
to be violable. The basic idea is that IPP constructions are exceptional
because they violate otherwise valid rules of the language. Thus, IPP is a
'last resort' or repair strategy, which is only visible in cases in which
the past participle would be 'even worse'. Furthermore, as the choice of
Optimality Theory naturally leads to a crosslinguistic account, the book
systematically examines and compares infinitival constructions from seven
West Germanic languages including Afrikaans, Dutch, German, West Flemish,
and three Swiss German dialects.