I've been watching Generative Syntax from the University of Edinburgh on youtube and in chapter 1.1 while describing prescriptivism Prof. Caroline Heycock talks about Splitting infinitives (and the proscription of it by many prescriptivists).
"He decided to quickly leave the room."
as an example of a split infinitive construction, which she then proceeds to "fix" by changing it to
"He decided quickly to leave the room."
Now I've been thinking about it for a while and to me that strongly sounds as a changed meaning. While I understand the first sentence to quite unambiguously mean that the "leaving of the room" was quick. The second "fixed" sentence to me sounds very much as though "his decision" was quick rather then the manner in which he left the room. I can just persuade myself that the second form should be read sort of archaically so as to apply the quickly to the speed of leaving rather then of the decision but it doesn't sound right.
My question is, can this be fixed without radically altering the sentence?
My feeling is that
"He quickly decided to leave the room."
Unambiguously qualifies the decision as quick, but the last version I can come up with
"He decided to leave the room quickly."
even though here I tend to parse the "quickly" as modifying the speed of exit still sounds slightly stilted and still not as unambiguous as the version with the split infinitive.