Version 2.0

Other: Attitudinal object control predicates

The notion of control refers to referential dependencies between an argument of the matrix clause and the covert subject of an infinite clause as complement or adjunct. The cases I will consider in my talk are control relations between the object (= controller) of certain clause-embedding predicates and the covert subject (= controllee) of an infinitival complement (e.g. Mary asked John [ _ to mow the lawn].). Whereas many syntactic accounts were primarily concerned with the status and analysis of the covert embedded subject/controllee (e.g., as an empty category such as PRO or as a trace) and syntactic mechanisms of controller choice (e.g. object control with ask, subject control with promise), recent proposals (Pearson 2013, 2016, Landau 2015) have shed new light on another important distinction in control: control predicates that only allow exhaustive control readings (e.g., verbs such as manage allow only readings with the referential identity of controller and controllee) and those that also allow partial control readings, for instance in combination with collective predicates such as gather: John wanted [ _ to gather in front of the Town Hall]; here, the controllee includes further referents besides John. Both Pearson and Landau have demonstrated that partial control is possible with attitude predicates (e.g., speech act predicates such as tell, cognitive predicates such as think etc.), but not with other control predicates. Attitudinal object control predicates (such as order or ask) differ from attitudinal subject control predicates (e.g. hope) in that the controller is distinct from the attitude holder. In my talk I will show that the discussion so far is based on the properties of canonical object control predicates (e.g, tell, ask, advise or persuade) and misses cases of control predicates with inanimate controllers (e.g. with German nachsagen `say of sth/sb') or non-interlocutors as controllers (e.g. German bezichtigen 'accuse'). These predicates require a different treatment than that proposed by Landau.

Landau, Idan. 2015. A two-tiered theory of control. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Pearson, Hazel. 2013. The sense of self: Topics in the semantics of de se expressions. Harvard University Diss.
Pearson, Hazel. 2016. The semantics of partial control. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 34. 691–738.


Day: 2021-05-08
Start time: 09:30
Duration: 01:00
Room: Audimax
Track: Syntax
Language: en




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