Try and or try to?

Gunnel Tottie (University of Zurich) asked me the following question:

"Can you can tell me anything about attitudes to the complementation of try – the choice between try and and  try to?  I have a paper in press in the ICAME Journal about the current use of these forms, together with Charlotte Hommerberg, and we have looked at the attitudes of contemporary prescriptivists.  I am now doing some work on the history of the constructions, and that is what I am writing about – can you tell me anything about earlier attitudes or maybe give me some bibliographical tips?"
The construction does not occur as a usage problem in the 1st edition of Lowth’s grammar (see my inventory in the recently published Handbook of the history of English by van Kemenade and Los (2006:553-5), and I can’t think of any 18th-century grammarian writing about it. Perhaps there is something in Leonard’s appendix in the Doctrine of correctness (1929)? I do seem to remember that the issue is discussed in Mittins et al., Attitudes to English usage (1970, I believe (I don’t have the copy here at hand). The nice thing about their study is that they place the usage problems they investigated into a historical perspective.
Perhaps other people have further suggestions?

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