Control and Restructuring at the Syntax-Semantics Interface


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




Control (coreference between the unexpressed subject of an embedded clause and an argument of the embedding verb) is cross-linguistically pervasive and has been central in linguistic theorizing. This dissertation assesses recent theories of control by taking into account two related factors that are relevant in understanding the patterning: the lexical semantics of the verbs that give rise to control, and the restructuring properties of these verbs. The study draws on data from languages representing a diverse range of syntactic strategies for forming embedded clauses (including English, Modern Greek, and Mandarin Chinese) to shed light on which aspects of control are universal, which are subject to cross-linguistic variation, and what the best theory is for stating these generalizations.