The Scale of Finiteness and the Calculus of Control

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Prevalent treatments of Obligatory Control (OC) derive the distribution of PRO from either government or case theory. However, ample crosslinguistic evidence demonstrates that PRO is case-marked just like any other DP. The phenomenon of finite control in the Balkan languages and in Hebrew, where subjunctive complements exhibit OC, demonstrates that the licensing of PRO must be sensitive to the distribution of the features [Tense] and [Agr] both on I0 and C0 OC is conceived as an instance of Agree; a local calculus, interacting with feature checking and deletion, determines that PRO is in general the "elsewhere'' case of referential subjects. However, the two types of subjects may alternate in certain environments, an inexplicable fact for most existing accounts. The system proposed naturally extends to other types of complements, like inflected infinitives and obviative subjunctives. The resulting typology offers a systematic picture of the intricate ways in which finiteness and control interact in different languages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)811-877
JournalNatural Language and Linguistic Theory
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2004


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