Control as Movement

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The Movement Theory of Control (MTC) makes one major claim: that control relations in sentences like 'John wants to leave' are grammatically mediated by movement. This goes against the traditional view that such sentences involve not movement, but binding, and analogizes control to raising, albeit with one important distinction: whereas the target of movement in control structures is a theta position, in raising it is a non-theta position; however the grammatical procedures underlying the two constructions are the same. This book presents the main arguments for MTC and shows it to have many theoretical advantages, the biggest being that it reduces the kinds of grammatical operations that the grammar allows, an important advantage in a minimalist setting. It also addresses the main arguments against MTC, using examples from control shift, adjunct control, and the control structure of ‘promise', showing MTC to be conceptually, theoretically, and empirically superior to other approaches.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521195454
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/30/2010
  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Linguistics Series , #126
  • Pages: 274
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Cedrick Boeckx is Research Professor at the Catalan Institute for Advanced Studies (ICREA), and a member of the Center for Theoretical Linguistics at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

Norbert Hornstein is Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Jairo Nunes is Associate Professor at the University of São Paulo, Brazil.

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Table of Contents


1 Introduction 1

2 Some historical background 5

2.1 Introduction 5

2.2 What any theory of control should account for 5

2.3 Control in the standard-theory framework 6

2.4 Control in GB 9

2.5 Non-movement approaches to control within minimalism 16

2.5.1 The null-case approach 16

2.5.2 The Agree approach 20

2.6 Conclusion 35

3 Basic properties of the movement theory of control 36

3.1 Introduction 36

3.2 Departing from the null hypothesis: historical, architectural, and emprical reasons 37

3.3 Back to the future: elimination of DS and the revival of the null hypothesis 43

3.4 Controlled PROs as A-movement traces 46

3.4.1 Configurational properties 47

3.4.2 Interpretive properties 49

3.4.3 Phonetic properties and grammatical status 52

3.5 Conclusion 56

4 Empirical advantages 59

4.1 Introduction 59

4.2 Morphological invisibility 59

4.3 Interclausal agreement 60

4.4 Finite control 63

4.4.1 Finite control and hyper-raising 70

4.4.2 Finite control, islands, and intervention effects 75

4.4.3 Summary 79

4.5 The movement theory of control under the copy theory of movement 79

4.5.1 Adjunct control and sideward movement 83

4.5.2 The movement theory of control and morphological restrictions on copies 98

4.5.3 Backward control 102

4.5.4 Phonetic realization of multiple copies and copy control 115

4.6 Conclusion 123

5 Empirical challenges and solutions 125

5.1 Introduction 125

5.2 Passives, obligatory control, and Visser's generalization 125

5.2.1 Relativizing A-movement 127

5.2.2 Impersonal passives 132

5.2.3 Finite control vs. hyper-raising 136

5.3 Nominals and control 141

5.3.1 Finite control into noun-complement clauses in Brazilian Portuguese 142

5.3.2 Raising into nominals in Hebrew 147

5.3.3 The contrast between raising nominals and control nominals in English 149

5.4 Obligatory control and morphological case 152

5.4.1 Quirky case and the contrast between raising and control in Icelandic 152

5.4.2 Apparent case-marked PROs 160

5.5 The minimal-distance principle, control shift, and the logic of minimality 169

5.5.1 Control with promise-type verbs 171

5.5.2 Control shift 176

5.5.3 Summary 181

5.6 Partial and split control 182

5.6.1 Partial control 183

5.6.2 Split control 190

5.7 Conclusion 194

6 On non-obligatory control 195

6.1 Introduction 195

6.2 Obligatory vs. non-obligatory control and economy computations 196

6.3 Some problems 202

6.4 A proposal 204

6.5 Conclusion 209

7 Some notes on semantic approaches to control 210

7.1 Introduction 210

7.2 General problems with selectional approaches to obligatory control 210

7.3 "Simpler syntax" 216

7.3.1 Some putative problems for the movement theory of control 217

7.3.2 Challenges for "simpler syntax" 226

7.4 Conclusion 237

8 The movement theory of control and the minimalist program 238

8.1 Introduction 238

8.2 Movement within minimalism and the movement theory of control 239

8.3 The movement theory of control and the minimalist architecture of UG 241

8.4 Inclusiveness, bare phrase structure, and the movement theory of control 245

8.5 Conclusion 248

References 250

Index 261

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