On Single and Two-Tiered Approaches to Control
- You forgot/managed [PRO to call].
- The bank teller asked/persuaded me [PRO to write down my PIN].
- The bank teller asked/persuaded me [PRO to write down my PIN].
- I was asked/persuaded [PRO to write down my PIN].
- You promised me [PRO to call].
- *I was promised [PRO to call].
- It was agreed/decided [PRO to establish a new nation on new principles].
- Det ble lovet [å PRO gi meg gaver].there was promised C give.INF me.ACC gifts‘Someone promised to give me gifts.’Literally: ‘It was promised to bring me gifts.’Norwegian example in van Urk (2013, p. 170)
- *It was continued/forgotten [PRO to move forward with this project].
- It was IMPi agreed/decided [CP proi [FinP PROi to establish a new nation onnew principles]].
- *It was IMPi continued/forgotten [FinP PROi to move forward with this project].
- It is impossible [for you to visit me together].
- It is impossible [PRO to visit me together].
- *It is impossible [for me to be IMP visited together].
- [The IMPx realization that hex was unpopular] upset him.
- *[The IMPx realization that Johnx was unpopular] upset him.
- [Before PRO making a big decision], every option should be considered.
- *[PRO being obvious that Marie won’t be returning], we can leave.
- It is possible that it pleases him that Mary is sick.
- *It is possible [PRO to please him that Mary is sick].
2. Data Involving Control and Passivization That Are Problematic for the TTC
2.1. Visser’s Generalization
- Ik was IMPi asked [CP prok [FinP PROk to write down my PIN]].
- *Ik was IMPi promised [CP proi [FinP PROi to call]].
2.2. Impersonal Passives
- Ik benaderde de selectiecommissie met de vraag hoe mijn foto aan teI contacted the selection.committee with the question how my photo prt toleveren.? Er bleek dat er (door het comité) de voorkeur aansupply there turned-out that there (by the committee) the preference togegeven wordt [om deze aan te leveren in jpeg].given is COMP these prt to supply in jpeg‘I contacted the selection committee about how to submit my photo.It turns out that it’s preferred (by the committeex) [PROarb to submit in jpeg].’
- The committeex prefers [PROx/*arb to submit photos in jpeg].
- Verbolgen zakenvrouw aan haar telefoon in Chicago:irate businesswoman on her telephone in ChicagoWaar ben je? Er was door mijn secretaresse geregeldwhere are you there has.been by my secretary arranged[om elkaar hier in Chicago te ontmoeten].COMP each.other here in Chicago to meet‘Irate businesswoman on her phone in Chicago:Where are you? It was arranged by my secretaryx[PRONOC=speaker+listener to meet each other here in Chicago!]’
- My secretary Alanx arranged [PROx+listener/*speaker+listener to meet you in Chicago].
- [PRONOC=x having just arrived in town], the main hotel seemed to Billx to be the best place to stay.
- *[PRONOC=x having just arrived in town], the main hotel collapsed on Billx.
2.3. On the Attitude/Non-Attitude Constraint
- *Il a été menacé [de PRO fermer l’établissement].it has been threatened of to.close the establishment*‘It was threatened to close down the establishment.’
- *Il a été adoré [PRO danser toute la nuit].it has been loved to.dance all the night*‘It was loved to dance all night long.’
- *Il a été offert [d’amener le vin].it has been offered of to.bring the wine*‘It was offered to bring the wine.’
- Er werd geprobeerd (om) Bill te bezoeken.there was tried for Bill to visit‘Someone tried to visit Bill.’
- Er werd vermeden vrag en te stellen.there was avoided questions to ask‘People avoided asking questions.’
- Il a été essayé plusieurs fois sans succès de neutraliserit has been tried several times without success of to.neutralizeles effets dévastateurs de ce virus.the effects devastating of this virus‘It has been tried many times without success to neutralize the devastatingeffects of this virus.’
- Une fois de plus, il a été évité de poser le problème sur le planone time of more it has been avoided of to.pose the problem on the planede la responsabilité entre états…of the responsibility between states‘Once again, they avoided addressing the problem in terms of the responsibilityshared between member states.’
- It has been tried/attempted for some time now to put together a proposal thatwe can all live with.
- It had never previously been undertaken to cross the Atlantic on a wooden raft.
- It should have been required of AIG to make concessions to their counterparties.
- According to the Norwegian animal welfare regulations, it has been forbiddento build new tie-stall barns since 2004.
- From the videos, it was managed to confirm that the participants followedthe task instructions…
- It has been managed/dared by only a select few to scale this mountain underthese conditions.
- It was IMPi agreed/decided [CP proi [FinP PROi to establish a new nation on new principles]].
- *It was IMPi continued/forgotten [FinP PROi to move forward with this project].
3. A Modified Agree Approach to Control
- [i D], [i sing +], [i part +], [i author +], [u NOM] → I
- [i D], [i sing +], [i part +], [i author +], [u ACC] → me
- [i D], [i sing −], [i part +], [i author +], [u NOM] → we
- [i D], [i part +], [i author −], [u Case] → you
- [i D], [i sing +], [i part −], [i fem. +], [u NOM] → she
- [i sing +], [i part −], [i male +], [u NOM] → he
- [i D], [i sing +], [i part −], [i thing +], [u ACC] → it
- [i D], [i sing +], [i part −], [u Case] → it
- [i D], [i sing −], [i part −], [u NOM] → they
- I am the only one here who can take care of my children.
- Only you can eat what you cook.
- [i D], [u ϕ]
- elsewhere → ∅
- Je préférais [PROPC me réunir dans la salle de séminaire].I preferred myself to.meet in the room of seminar‘I preferred to meet in the seminar room.’
- *Mary bothered/remembered [PRO to meet in the seminar room].
- Everybody wanted to have lunch together.Cannot be paraphrased:For all x, x wanted there to be a group y of which x is a part such that yhas lunch together.cf. !Everybody wanted to have lunch together, but with different people.Can be paraphrased:Everybody wanted to have lunch together, but they all had differenttime preferences.
- John is lonely. He wants to have lunch together.
- John wants someone to have lunch with.
- John wants to have lunch with some contextually salient group that includes himself.
- The chairi wants [PRO+i to gather at six].
- The chairi is happy. The committee+i met at six.
- My next-door neighbors make a lot of noise.He plays the drums and she keeps on shouting at him.
- The priest was tortured for days. They wanted him to reveal wherethe insurgents were hiding.
- My next-door neighbors make a lot of noise. #I met her yesterday.
- #Every doctor wants him (=the patient) to get better.
- The chairi was glad the committeex had agreed [PROx+ to wear a tie].
- The chair wanted [PROPC to meet at 6:00].
- *The chair met at 6:00.
- After trying for weeks to find a time when everyone is free,the chairx has finally given up. Important decisions have to be made, so shex ismeeting this Saturday morning at 6:00 am, even if it means meeting all by herself.
- The chair managed to meet at 6:00.
- The union organizer didn’t dare to gather during the strike.
- The chair forgot to meet this week.
- If I were chair, I wouldn’t bother to meet in the conference room today.We can all save ourselves a trip to campus and meet at Panera instead!
- I just can’t stand it anymore! I told myself that I was done with you and me, butafter a week apart, I now realize that I need to kiss and make up—right here andright now. It’s that or I simply go insane.
- Willemx voelde [zichx wegglijden].‘William felt himself slip away.’
- [i π ], [i 3rd], [u number], [u gender]
- John loves him.
- Johnx has a gun. Will hex attack?
- Johnx saw a snake near himx.
- Johnx said that Mary likes himx.
- Maryx prefers [FinP to PROx have tea with her breakfast].
- Your babyx doesn’t know [ForceP when to PRONOC=z feed himx]. Youz do!
- Iz think that my momx has figured out [ForceP where to PRONOC=z+ go onour honeymoon].
- Speaker A: I know I’m the only one who can do anything about thissituation, but I just don’t know [ForceP what to PRO do].Speaker B: I don’t either.(Can mean I don’t know what you (=Speaker A) should do either.)
- I made [vP them wait].
- *I made [ForceP that them wait].
- They always tell mex [to PROx try harder].
- Les chaises, je les ai peintes.the chairs I them.fem.pl have painted.fem.pl‘As for the chairs, I painted them.’
- Mattx expects [to PROx do well on the exam].
- *Mattx’s sister expects [to PROx do well on the exam].
- Matt seemed [(Matt) to (Matt) do well on the exam].
- *Mattx’s sister seemed [(Matt) to (Matt) do well on the exam].
- I promised John [(I) to (I) bring the money].
- John told Sam [how pro to hold oneself erect at a royal ball].
- Maryx suggested to Billy [to PROx+y introduce themselves to the President].
4. Control and Passivization
- *Maryx was promised (Maryx) [FinP to PROx to call].
- It was agreed [ForceP [FinP to PRONOC establish a new nation on new principles]].
- I contacted the selection committee about how to submit my photo. It turns out thatit’s preferred (by the committeex) [ForceP [FinP to PRONOC submit in jpeg]].
- It has been tried for some time now [ForceP [FinP to PRO put together a proposal167) that we can all live with]].
- *Itx was threatened/loved/offered [FinP to PROx comment on the issue].
- Zekez mentioned that hez/j appeared in yesterday’s broadcast.
- Zekez mentioned that hez/j will be appearing tomorrow’s broadcast.
- Zekez caused him!z/j to stumble yesterday.
- !Zeke caused him to stumble next week.
- I believe that Zeke is an idiot.
- I believe Zeke to be an idiot.
- I believe that Zeke is/was/will be an idiot.
- I believe Zeke to be an idiot !yesterday/!tomorrow.
- Jane saw fit to PRO remain silent at yesterday’s meeting.
- !Yesterday, Jane saw fit to PRO remain silent at last week’s meeting.
- Se amenazó con/de cerrar el local.‘It was threatened to close down the establishment.’
- They allege that he is the unclaimed son of Orson Welles.
- */OK This, I must admit, interested me less than office gossip alleging him to be the unclaimed son of Orson Welles.
- Mon Dieu, faites [que mes parents reviennent vite]!my God make that my parents return quickly‘God, please make my parents come back soon!’
- *J’ai fait [Jean patienter].I have made John to.wait‘I made John wait.’
- *Mon Dieu, laissez [que mes parents reviennent vite]!my God let that my parents return quickly‘God, please let my parents come back soon!’
- J’ai laissé [Jean patienter].I have let John to.wait‘I let John wait.’
- It is likely/probable [ForceP that Mary will leave early].
- Mary is likely [TP (Mary) to leave early].
- *Mary is probable [ForceP (Mary) to leave early].
- I believe [that John saw that man].
- I believe [John to have seen that man].
- *I believe [PRO to have seen that man].
- Je crois [que Jean a vu cet homme].
- *Je crois [Jean avoir vu cet homme].
- Je crois [PRO avoir vu cet homme].
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It is well known and equally consistent with Visser’s Generalization that the opposite situation obtains when these control verbs select a complement clause headed by a predicate like be allowed to, which semantically “shifts” the normal controller from thematic object to subject in the case of a verb like ask, and from thematic subject to object in the case of a verb like promise:
(i) *I was asked/persuaded [PRO to be allowed to leave early].
(ii) I was promised [PRO to be allowed to make a phone call].
Attitude (formerly partial control) verbs differ semantically from non-attitude (exhaustive control) ones in that in the complement clause of the former, the denotation of linguistic expressions like definite descriptions is determined relative to non-actual worlds, such as worlds consistent with the matrix subject’s desires or beliefs, whereas it is determined relative to the actual world in the case of non-attitudes. For illustrative tests and discussion, see Landau (2015, pp. 18–19) and Pearson (2016, pp. 706–7). For a more complete inventory of the verbs assumed to fall into each class, see the similar, although not identical, lists in Landau (2015, pp. 6–7) and Pearson (2016, p. 693).
As in Landau (2015, pp. 26–27), the complement clause of non-attitude verbs is suppressed to FinP for ease of exposition, i.e., to clearly distinguish it from the type of CP selected by attitudes. This is merely a notational convenience since Landau explicitly adopts the view that non-attitudes may select CP complements in order, e.g., to provide a landing site for focus or wh-elements.
According to Landau (2015, p. 23), PRO and pro are both members of the class of minimal pronouns, which he defines as heads associated uniquely with [iD, uϕ] features. The form a given minimal pronoun takes (e.g., PRO or pro) is determined by the syntactic conditions under which it appears. That is, obligatorily controlled PRO refers to the type of minimal pronoun that always has its unvalued ϕ-features determined via predication, whereas pro has them determined via binding (as in (5a) in which it is bound by IMP) or local agreement (as in, e.g., the pro involved in null subject languages).
See Landau (2015, pp. 26, 44) for more detailed analysis and discussion.
Landau (2015, p. 5) currently appears to favor an even stronger view, stating that “…it is far from clear that complement clauses ever display non-obligatory control.”
Given the lack of VP-ellipsis in Dutch, it was not possible to attempt to replicate the strict readings Reed observes in English sentences like (i):
(i) It was proposed by Hillary Clintonx [PROx to be the 2016 Democratic candidate] and it was by the Democratic National Committee too.
As Reed notes, in (i), we understand that the DNC proposed that Hillary Clinton be their candidate in 2016; they could not have been proposing themselves to be that person. In this respect, of course, the PRONOC in (i) contrasts with obligatorily controlled (PROOC) in (ii).
(ii) *Hillary Clintonx proposed [PROx to be the 2016 Democratic candidate] and the Democratic National Committee did too.
Landau (2013, p. 32) departs from Castañeda (1967), Chierchia (1990), Landau (2000, p. 31), and others, in dropping de re readings as a fourth defining property of PRONOC. He observes with Safir (2010) that PROOC cannot be limited to de se readings since its antecedent in (i) is inanimate and so lacks self-awareness.
(i) This keyx will serve [PROx to open the door].
Moreover, PROOC in (ii) clearly possesses a de re reading if uttered in a context in which John is unaware of the fact that he himself is the guilty party.
(ii) Johnx was furiously angry [despite PROx being the careless worker himself]
Pitteroff and Schäfer (2018) provide numerous grammatical examples parallel to (17a,b), in Dutch, German, Icelandic, and Norwegian. Since they found no French or English examples like (17c–j), however, they agree with Landau that non-attitudes in the latter languages disallow impersonal passivization. To account for this assumed difference between Dutch and English-type languages, these authors make use of cross-linguistic parameters involving the EPP feature and the nature of expletive NPs.
Since the point of interest is simply that impersonal passives with non-attitude verbs exist across a variety of languages, two interesting issues will not be explored further here. These are the exact degree to which impersonal passivization is “freer” in languages like Dutch and German and why that may be the case.
See Reuland (2010) for a critique of Kratzer’s PF approach to these facts, as well as an alternative analysis formulated in terms of von Stechow’s (2003a, 2003b) LF feature deletion.
The qualification “especially (9a,b)” is there because the logophoric nature of non-obligatory PRO discussed in Section 2.2 offers an alternative account of the ungrammaticality of examples like (8b) and, as we will see in Section 4, thematic considerations can be invoked to account for sentences like *It was threatened/loved/offered to PRO comment on the issue.
To the best of my knowledge, only languages like German and Icelandic have an unambiguously expletive pronoun, namely, the pro found in German sentences like (i), drawn from Jaeggli and Safir (1989, p. 19). That is, in other “null subject” languages, like Spanish, pro has both an expletive and a non-expletive use, making it a non-overt counterpart to it in English.
If the preceding observation is correct, then why only pro should be capable of being unambiguously expletive is an interesting question. Jaeggli and Safir (1989) propose that pro differs from other pronouns, like PRO, in being licensed by morphologically uniform inflectional paradigms (which English and French lack) and in only optionally being subject to identification conditions/association with interpretable phi-features. For example, German has no identification conditions and so allows only null expletives, but Spanish does, allowing thematic and non-thematic pro. Ideally, their proposals should be revisited and shown to fall out from larger considerations, a fascinating project that will not be undertaken here.
A reviewer points out that in the Spanish partial control counterpart to the French example in (23), there is an overt morphological feature disconnect between the controller and PRO. That is, PRO in this language apparently does not agree with the overt morphological phi-features of the controller yo ‘I’, given the plurality of nos ‘us.’
(i) Yo prefiero PRO reunirnos en otra sala.
I prefer to.meet.us in other room
‘I prefer to meet in another room.’
Landau (2000, p. 30; 2015, p. 7) treats these verbs as licensors of PC on the basis of examples like (i)–(ii) below that Pearson (2016, pp. 709, 717) argues give “false results” for PC. Namely she suggests that inflecting the embedded clause has the effect of shifting the time index with respect to which the embedded clause is interpreted.
(i) The chair claimed to be gathering once a week.
(ii) The chair claimed to have gathered last week.
See Authier and Reed (2018, 2020) for further argumentation in support of a pragmatic approach to PROPC.
Bowers original data not only includes additional examples of the type in (33a–c), but also ones in the habitual aspect, such as The chair is continuing/beginning to meet on alternate Mondays. Landau (2013, pp. 164–65) argues that the latter type of example should be set aside since it may not involve PC. That is, he suggests that the habitual aspect allows generic object drop, i.e., has the semantic effect of making a “normally” collective predicate non-collective. Landau offers the following contrasts involving simple sentences as evidence:
(i) This is ridiculous! With Mary as his department head, John is meeting every day now.
(ii) *This is ridiculous! With Mary as his department head, John is meeting right now.
Reuland (2011, pp. 97–99) assumes that zich’s categorial feature is [i π], not [i D], precisely because it lacks an inherent number feature and because the equivalents of us/we linguists are unattested in this language.
Technically, the bound reading of (38) violates the principle of full interpretation (PFI) under Reuland’s analysis as well since its translation at the level of logical syntax, given below in (i), contains two identical variables x that are bound by John, which renders impossible a unique determination of theta-role assignment. That is, the semantic system is also unable to distinguish which instance of x is associated with the subject theta-role and which with the object theta-role.
(i) JOHN (λx [x LOVES x])
Following Reinhart (2000, 2006), logical syntax is not part of “narrow” syntax, nor is it equivalent to the semantic component. It is the logical translation of the syntactic representation at LF which “feeds into” the semantic system, where there is no linear word order or hierarchical structure. Any apparent hierarchical phenomena attested here, such as the apparent c-command effects long noted in relation to binding and control, are due to the compositional nature of semantic interpretation.
It is perhaps inaccurate to say that the assumption that matrix T/v determines the tense feature of the embedded T is novel since, e.g., Landau (2004, pp. 822, 831, 838) has argued that matrix control verbs always select or determine the understood tense of the complement clause (a view he moves away from in Landau (2015, p. 20)), and Reed (2012, p. 296) has argued that control (and exceptionally case-marking (ECM)) verbs lexically specify a temporal index for the complement clause, unlike the class of verbs that universally preclude control.
Following Bobaljik and Wurmbrand (2002), it is assumed here that verbs undergo Agree with indirect objects as well, cf. the overt indirect object agreement on the verb attested in languages like Itelmen in their example in (i). Under the present analysis, such agreement relations account for the existence of oblique controllers of the type in (ii).
(i) isx-enk n-zəl-aɬ-um kza kəma-nk?
father.LOC IMPRS-give-FUT-1SG.OBJ you me-DAT
‘Will father give you to me?’
(ii) The courts should have required of AIGX [PROX to make concessions to their counterparties].
Assuming that complex chains provide access to the features of both the subject and the object of matrix control verbs may have an additional welcome consequence that will not be further explored here. Namely, it may open up a means of accounting for split control in examples like (i), but see, e.g., Madigan (2008), for an equally viable minimal pronoun approach to this phenomenon.
(i) Maryx proposed/suggested to Johny [to PROx+y help each other].
See Reed (2014, pp. 149–71) for in-depth discussion of these problems.
Parsons (1990) and Lasersohn (1993) note that this assumption is necessary if one wishes to explain the “super narrow” scope of the existential quantifier referring to the agent in (i), i.e., the fact that everyone must take wide scope over the understood agent.
(i) Everyone was killed.
Bruening (2013) argues that it is necessary if one wishes to provide a unified account of restrictions common to passive by-phrases, comitatives, and instrumentals. That is, the fact that all three types of adjuncts select for an unsaturated VoiceP projection explains why they are incompatible with predicates headed by an unaccusative verb, like the one in (ii):
(ii) *The ship sank by/with the saboteur/with a torpedo.
Given the goals of this paper, the verbs in the text tolerate both control and impersonal passivization, which might give the impression that the two are in some way dependent. That this is not the case is made clear by, e.g., the existence of verbs that disallow control, but tolerate impersonal passivization, cf. (i)–(iii). See Reed (2012) for an analysis of (i).
(i) *Mary assumed [to PRO retire in 2019].
(ii) Back in the 1980s, it was assumed [to be possible to iterate XP and X-bar].
(iii) Back in the 1980s, it was assumed [that it was possible to iterate XP and X-bar].
This observation was also made with respect to tense in Stowell (1982, pp. 562, 565).
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Reed, L.A. On Single and Two-Tiered Approaches to Control. Languages 2020, 5, 71. https://doi.org/10.3390/languages5040071
Reed LA. On Single and Two-Tiered Approaches to Control. Languages. 2020; 5(4):71. https://doi.org/10.3390/languages5040071Chicago/Turabian Style
Reed, Lisa A. 2020. "On Single and Two-Tiered Approaches to Control" Languages 5, no. 4: 71. https://doi.org/10.3390/languages5040071