Data points: non-parallelism 12/16/10

From the NYT on December 13, relevant portion boldfaced:

Inmates in at least seven Georgia prisons have used contraband cellphones to coordinate a nonviolent strike this weekend, saying they want better living conditions and to be paid for work they do in the prisons. (Sarah Wheaton, “Inmates in Georgia Prisons Use Contraband Phones to Coordinate Protest”)

Here, the verb want has two complements: a direct object NP and an infinitival VP. Not the same in their internal structures or constituent category, though infinitival VPs can function like NPs in many contexts. Examples of NP + VPinf are in fact common, to the point where it’s not clear to me that they should be treated as grammatically problematic. A few more examples from my files:

If you want prints or to join my email list, ask me by email. (artist and photographer Clint McClintick, on his site)

[She] wanted more personal time and to play in a drum and bugle corps. (NPR’s Morning Edition 4/2/08)

His future plans include more time with his family and to write a book. (NPR’s All Things Considered, 8/13/07)




One Response to “Data points: non-parallelism 12/16/10”

  1. Ben Gazzara « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] object that-clause. I’ve posted on this blog about non-parallelism in purpose adjuncts (here and here), but I seem to have only one other example in my files with an oblique object together […]

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