Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

The Linguistic Review

Editor-in-Chief: van der Hulst, Harry


IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.463
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.789

CiteScore 2018: 0.69

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.643
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.679

Online
ISSN
1613-3676
See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 35, Issue 3

Issues

Reducing pro and PRO to a single source

Thomas McFadden / Sandhya Sundaresan
Published Online: 2018-09-11 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tlr-2018-0003

Abstract

The goal of this paper is to provide novel theoretical and empirical evidence that the null subjects traditionally labelled as pro and pro, rather than being inherently distinct, are manifestations, differentiated in the course of the derivation, of what is underlyingly a single underspecified nominal pro-form, which we will call UPro. Included under this UPro are pro, oc pro and also the various types of ‘non-obligatory control’ (noc) pro, including arbitrary pro (proarb). The interpretive and distributional distinctions lurking behind these labels result from how UPro interacts with its structural environment and language-specific rules of morpho-phonological realization. Specifically, oc pro labels a rather specific interpretation that arises in embedding contexts where a syntactic oc relationship with an antecedent can be established. Different types of pro and noc pro, on the other hand, involve ‘control’ by (typically) silent representations of discourse-contextual elements in the clausal left periphery. Finally, proarb arguably involves the failure to establish a referential dependence, which we will formalize in terms of a failure to Agree in the sense of Preminger (2014). Crucial evidence motivating the approach proposed here will be adduced from Sundaresan’s (2014) “Finiteness pro-drop Generalisation”, which reveals an otherwise unexpected complementarity of oc pro and pro.

Keywords: pro; pro; control; oc; noc; finiteness; case; agree; left periphery

References

  • Adler, Allison. 2006. Syntax and discourse in the acquisition of adjunct control. MIT dissertation.Google Scholar

  • Baker, Mark C. 2008. The syntax of agreement and concord. Cambridge: CUP.Google Scholar

  • Barbosa, Pilar P. 2009. A case for an agree-based theory of control. Lingbuzz: http://lingbuzz.auf.net.

  • Bhatt, Rajesh. 2005. Long-distance agreement in Hindi-Urdu. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 23. 757–807.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Bianchi, Valentina. 2003. On finiteness as logophoric anchoring. In J. Gu’eron & L. Tasmovski (eds.), Temps et point de vue/tense and point of view, 213–246. Nanterre: UParis X.

  • Biberauer, Theresa, Anders Holmberg, Ian Roberts & Michelle Sheehan (eds.). 2010. Parametric variation: null subjects in Minimalist theory. Cambridge: CUP.Google Scholar

  • Bjorkman, Bronwyn & Hedde Zeijlstra. 2017. Upward agree is superior. To appear in Linguistic Inquiry.Google Scholar

  • Boeckx, Cedric, Norbert Hornstein & Jairo Nunes. 2010. Control as movement. Cambridge: CUP.Google Scholar

  • Borer, Hagit. 1989. Anaphoric AGR. In Osvaldo Jaeggli & Ken Safir (eds.), The null subject parameter, 69–109. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

  • Bošković, Željko. 2007. On the locality and motivation of Move and Agree: An even more minimal theory. Linguistic Inquiry 38. 589–644.Google Scholar

  • Bouchard, Denis. 1984. On the content of empty categories. Dordrecht: Foris.Google Scholar

  • Cattell, Ray. 1976. Constraints on movement rules. Language 52. 18–50.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Chierchia, Gennaro. 1989. Structured meanings, thematic roles, and control. In Gennaro Chierchia, Barbara Partee & Raymond Turner (eds.), Properties, types, and meaning, vol. II: Semantic issues studies in linguistics and philosophy, 131–166. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

  • Chomsky, Noam. 1982. Some concepts and consequences of the theory of Government and Binding, vol. 6. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

  • Chomsky, Noam. 1986. Barriers. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar

  • Chomsky, Noam. 2001. Derivation by phase. In Michael Kenstowicz (ed.), Ken Hale: A life in language, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

  • Chomsky, Noam & Howard Lasnik. 1993. The theory of Principles and Parameters. In Joachim Jacobs, Arnim von Stechow, Wolfgang Sternefeld & Theo Vennemann (eds.), Syntax: an international handbook of contemporary research, vol. 1, 506–569. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

  • Cinque, Guglielmo. 1999. Adverbs and functional heads: a cross-linguistic perspective Oxford Studies in Comparative Syntax. OUP.Google Scholar

  • Darzi, Ali. 2008. On the vP analysis of Persian finite control constructions. Linguistic Inquiry 39(1). 103–116.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Diercks, Michael. 2012. Parameterizing case: Evidence from Bantu. Syntax 15. 253–286.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Duguine, Maia. 2014. Argument ellipsis: a unitary approach to pro-drop. The Linguistic Review 31. 515–549.Google Scholar

  • Duguine, Maia. 2015. Unifying null arguments on two levels. Cambridge Comparative Syntax (CamCoS) 4, University of Cambridge.

  • Fischer, Silke. 2017. On the locality of control and islands in German: Exploring a hybrid theory of control. Ms. Universität Stuttgart.

  • Frascarelli, Mara. 2007. Subjects, topics and the interpretation of referential pro. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 25. 691–734.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Giorgi, Alessandra. 2010. About the speaker: Towards a syntax of indexicality. Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics. Oxford: OUP.Google Scholar

  • Heinat, Fredrik. 2008. Probes, pronouns and binding in the Minimalist Program. VDM Verlag.Google Scholar

  • Higginbotham, James. 1980. Pronouns and bound variables. Linguistic Inquiry 11(4). 679–708.Google Scholar

  • Holmberg, Anders, Aarti Nayudu & Michelle Sheehan. 2009. Three partial null-subject languages: a comparison of Brazilian Portuguese, Finnish and Marathi. In Anders Holmberg (ed.), Partial Pro-drop, vol. 63 Studia Linguistica: Special Issue, 59–97. MA, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.Crossref

  • Hornstein, Norbert. 1999. Movement and control. Linguistic Inquiry 30. 69–96.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Iatridou, Sabine. 1993. On nominative case assignment and a few related things. MIT Working Papers in Linguistics 19. 175–196.

  • Jaeggli, Osvaldo & Ken Safir. 1989. Introduction. In Osvaldo Jaeggli & Ken Safir (eds.), The null subject parameter, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar

  • Kissock, Madelyn. 2014. Evidence for ‘finiteness’ in Telugu. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 32. 29–58.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Kuno, Susumu. 1975. Super Equi-NP deletion is a pseudo-transformation. Proceedings of nels 5. 29–44.Google Scholar

  • Landau, Idan. 2000. Elements of control: structure and meaning in infinitival constructions Studies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory. Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar

  • Landau, Idan. 2004. The scale of finiteness and the calculus of control. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 22. 811–777.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Landau, Idan. 2006. Severing the distribution of PRO from Case. Syntax 9. 32–66.Google Scholar

  • Landau, Idan. 2013. Control in generative grammar: A research companion. CUP.

  • Landau, Idan. 2015. A two-tiered theory of control. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar

  • Landau, Idan. 2016a. Against the null comitative analysis of partial control. Linguistic Inquiry 47. 572–580.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Landau, Idan. 2016b. Agreement at PF: An argument from partial control. Syntax 19. 79–109.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Landau, Idan. 2017. Adjunct control depends on voice. In Claire Halpert, Hadas Kotek & Coppe van Urk (eds.), A pesky set: Papers for David Pesetsky, 93–102. Cambridge, MA: MITWPL.

  • Larson, Richard K. 1991. Promise and the theory of control. Linguistic Inquiry 22(1). 103–139.Google Scholar

  • Livitz, Inna. 2014. Deriving silence through dependent reference: Focus on pronouns. New York: New York University dissertation.Google Scholar

  • Manzini, Rita. 2009. PRO, pro and NP-trace (raising) are interpretations. In K. Grohmann (ed.), Explorations of phase theory: features and arguments, 131–180. Berlin: Mouton.

  • Martin, Roger. 2001. Null case and the distribution of PRO. Linguistic Inquiry 32. 141–166.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • McFadden, Thomas. 2004. The position of morphological case in the derivation: a study on the syntax-morphology interface: UPenn dissertation.

  • McFadden, Thomas. 2014. On subject reference and the cartography of clause types: A commentary on the paper by Biswas. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 32. 115–135.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • McFadden, Thomas & Sandhya Sundaresan. 2018. What the EPP and comp-trace effects have in common: Constraining silent elements at the edge. Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 3(1). 43.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Pearson, Hazel. 2013. The sense of self: Topics in the semantics of de se expressions. Cambridge: Harvard University dissertation.Google Scholar

  • Pearson, Hazel. 2016. The semantics of partial control. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 34. 691–738.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Petter, Marga. 1998. Getting PRO under control, vol. 8 LOT International Series. The Hague: HIL, Holland Academic Graphics.

  • Pitteroff, Marcel, Artemis Alexiadou, Jeannique Darby & Silke Fischer. 2017. On partial control in German. Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics 20. 139–185.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Pitteroff, Marcel & Florian Schäfer. 2017. Implicit control cross-linguistically. Ms. Universität Stuttgart and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

  • Preminger, Omer. 2014. Agreement and its failures. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar

  • Reinhart, Tanya. 1983. Anaphora and semantic interpretation. Croon Helm linguistics series: Anaphora. Croon Helm.

  • Rigau, Gemma. 1995. The properties of the temporal infinitive constructions in Catalan and Spanish. Probus 7. 279–301.Google Scholar

  • Ross, John Robert. 1967. Constraints on variables in syntax. Cambridge, MA: MIT dissertation.Google Scholar

  • Sag, Ivan & Carl Pollard. 1991. An integrated theory of complement control. Language 67. 63–113.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Sheehan, Michelle. 2014. Partial control in Romance languages: The covert comitative analysis. In Karen Lahousse & Stefania Marzo (eds.), Romance languages and linguistic theory 2012: Selected papers from ‘going romance’ leuven 2012, 181–198. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

  • Sheehan, Michelle. To appear. Subjects, null-subjects and expletives in Romance. In S. Fischer and S. Gabriel (eds.), Manuals of Romance Linguistics: Grammatical Interfaces.

  • Sigurðsson, Halldór Ármann. 1991. Icelandic Case-marked PRO and the licensing of lexical arguments. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 9. 327–363.Google Scholar

  • Sigurðsson, Halldór Ármann. 2008. The case of PRO. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 26(2). 403–450.Google Scholar

  • Speas, Margaret. 2004. Evidentiality, logophoricity and the syntactic representation of pragmatic features. Lingua 114(3). 255–276.Google Scholar

  • Stiebels, Barbara. 2007. Towards a typology of complement control. In B. Stiebels (ed.), Studies in complement control, vol. 47, 1–80. Berlin: ZAS Papers in Linguistics.

  • Sundaresan, Sandhya. 2012. Context and (co)reference in the syntax and its interfaces. Tromsø: University of Tromsø and University of Stuttgart dissertation.Google Scholar

  • Sundaresan, Sandhya. 2014. Making sense of silence: Finiteness and the (OC) PRO vs. pro distinction. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 32. 59–85.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Sundaresan, Sandhya. To appear. Perspective is syntactic: evidence from anaphora. Glossa.

  • Sundaresan, Sandhya & Thomas McFadden. 2009. DP distribution and finiteness in Tamil and other languages: selection vs. Case. Journal of South Asian Linguistics 2. 5–34.Google Scholar

  • Szabolcsi, Anna. 2009. Overt nominative subjects in infinitival complements in Hungarian. In Marcel den Dikken & Robert M. Vago (eds.), Approaches to Hungarian, vol. 11 Papers from the 2007 NYU Conference, John Benjamins.

  • Taraldsen, Knut Tarald. 1978. On the NIC, vacuous application and the that-trace filter. Bloomington, Indiana: University Linguistics Club.Google Scholar

  • Truswell, Robert. 2011. Events, phrases, and questions. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • van Urk, Coppe. 2013. Visser’s generalisation: The syntax of control and the passive. Linguistic Inquiry 44(1). 168–178.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Ussery, Charlon. 2008. What it means to agree: The behavior of Case and Phi features in Icelandic control. Proceedings of WCCFL 26. 480–488.Google Scholar

  • Weir, Andrew. 2012. Left-edge deletion in English and subject omission in diaries. English Language and Linguistics 16. 105–29.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Williams, Edwin. 1980. Predication. Linguistic Inquiry 11. 203–238.Google Scholar

  • Williams, Edwin. 1992. Adjunct control. In Richard Larson, Sabine Iatridou, Utpal Lahiri & James Higginbotham (eds.), Control and grammar, 297–322. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

  • Wurmbrand, Susanne. 2001. Infinitives: restructuring and clause structure. Berlin: Mouton.Google Scholar

  • Wurmbrand, Susi. 2012. The syntax of valuation in auxiliary-participle constructions. Proceedings of WCCFL 29. 154–162.Google Scholar

  • Wurmbrand, Susi. 2014. Tense and aspect in english infinitives. Linguistic Inquiry 45. 403–447.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Zeijlstra, Hedde. 2012. There is only one way to Agree. The Linguistic Review 29. 491–539.Google Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2018-09-11

Published in Print: 2018-09-25


Citation Information: The Linguistic Review, Volume 35, Issue 3, Pages 463–518, ISSN (Online) 1613-3676, ISSN (Print) 0167-6318, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tlr-2018-0003.

Export Citation

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

[1]
Michelle Sheehan, Martin Schäfer, and Maria Carmen Parafita Couto
Frontiers in Psychology, 2019, Volume 10
[3]
Adrian Stegovec
Natural Language Semantics, 2019, Volume 27, Number 1, Page 47

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in