Direct Variable Binding and Agreement in Obligatory Control

Idan Landau

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Standard semantic theories of Obligatory Control (OC) capture the obligatory de se reading of PRO but fail to explain why it agrees with the controller. Standard syntactic theories of OC explain the agreement but not the obligatory de se reading. A new synthesis is developed to solve this fundamental problem, in which the controller directly binds a variable in the edge of the complement. The associated semantics utilizes the idea that de se attitudes can be modelled as a special case of de re attitudes. The specific interaction of feature transmission and phase-based locality derives a striking universal asymmetry: Inflection on the embedded verb blocks OC in attitude complements but not in nonattitude complements. A semantic benefit is a straightforward account for “unexpected” binding between PRO and de re reflexives/pronouns.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPronouns in Embedded Contexts at the Syntax-Semantics Interface
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages41
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018

Publication series

NameStudies in Linguistics and Philosophy
ISSN (Print)0924-4662
ISSN (Electronic)2215-034X


  • Complement Position
  • Feature Deletion
  • Feature Transmission
  • Obligatory Control (OC)
  • Variable Binding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Philosophy


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