Synopses & Reviews
This book offers a new outlook on the derivation and interpretation of control constructions. It clears up some common misconceptions about the nature of control, as well as sharpening the empirical challenges that face any comprehensive theory in this domain. Regardless of theoretical framework, scholars of syntax and semantics interested in these topics, will find this book a major contribution to the field.
This book offers a new outlook on the derivation and interpretation of control constructions. Bringing together novel data and observations, it argues that Obligatory Control comes in two varieties: Exhaustive or Partial Control, the latter obtaining when PRO properly includes the controller. This distinction, arguably universal, is tightly linked to the tense specification of the infinitive. Non-Obligatory Control, on the other hand, is structurally conditioned, obtaining only in VP-external infinitives. A detailed investigation of how control interacts with Super-Equi constructions and psychological predicates sheds new light on issues such as extraposition, argument structure, and semantic selection.
This book clears up some common misconceptions about the nature of control, as well as sharpening the empirical challenges that face any comprehensive theory in this domain. Regardless of theoretical framework, scholars of syntax and semantics interested in these topics, will find this book a major contribution to the field.
1. THE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS OF CONTROL Imagine you are a child faced with the daunting task of acquiring the grammar of control in your language. You toddle around buoyantly (you should be past 3 by now), occasionally bumping into acoustic signals that miraculously map to "linguistic input." Some of them sound like this: (1) a. Robin, do you want _ to play with Kittie together? b. Come on, let me show you how _ to feed her. c. No Robin, Kittie doesn't like _ to be smacked. d. Robin, look what you've done Bad boy Time _ to go to bed. From your shelter under the kitchen table, you may draw the following conclusions: i) Mommy is very mad now; ii) Kittens make rotten toys; iii) My name must be Robin. Apart from the lesson in parental control, you also ought to learn something about grammatical control. In each of the sentences above, an element is missing (from the underlined position) that is nonetheless "filled-in" by your target grammar. This is what linguists term the "understood subject" of the infinitive. In order to be able to understand such sentences and produce similar ones yourself, you have to figure out the reference of the understood subject in every case. Thus, unless you are after some big trouble with Mommy, you had better conclude that the understood subject is Robin and Mommy in (la), Robin in (Ib), Kittie in (Ic) and everyone (especially Robin ) in (ld).
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments. 1. Introduction. 2. Exhaustive and Partial Control. 3. Obligatory and Non-Obligatory Control. 4. Control and Predication. 5. Implicit Control and Control Shift. References. Index.