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IIRC, the defining characteristic is more that they lack any hint of tense
or aspect.  In Latin you had future, past, and present participles, but only
the infinitive.  Both could be treated as nouns, of course, IIRC.

On Thu, Feb 10, 2011 at 2:49 PM, Eldin Raigmore <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> On Mon, 7 Feb 2011 21:53:38 +0100, Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets
> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> >
> >Portuguese (at least in Europe, I don't know about Brazilian Portuguese)
> is
> >well known for having a so-called "personal infinitive", i.e. an
> infinitive
> >form that takes personal endings to indicate the subject of the
> infinitive.
> >Would this personal infinitive be allowed in this construction?
> >
>
> Do "personal infinitives" really count as infinitives?
>
> I thought the main thing that distinguished infinitives from other verbal
> nouns
> was that infinitives lacked any trace of a subject.
>
> An infinitive that has to agree with its subject, even if only in person,
> wouldn't
> quite be infinitive, would it?
>
> It would be some other non-finite form of the verb, right?
>
> Or is the terminology really that random from language to language and/or
> linguist to linguist?
>



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