CUNY Syntax Supper: Thomas Grano (University of Maryland)

MAY 14, 2013 | 6:30 PM TO 8:30 PM



The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue




May 14, 2013: 6:30 PM-8:30 PM




The M.A./Ph.D. Program in Linguistics


Verb meaning, restructuring, and the grammar of complement control/

Landau (2000; 2004) draws a distinction between P(artial) C(ontrol) and E(xhaustive) C(ontrol): whereas PC predicates like "hope" admit a subset relation between the controller and controllee, EC predicates like "try" do not. (e.g., "Kim hoped to gather at noon." [controllee = Kim and contextually salient others] vs. "*Kim tried to gather at noon.") This talk explores the consequences of Cinque's (2006) suggestion that whereas PC instantiates 'true' biclausal control, EC predicates realize functional heads that instantiate monoclausal raising structures. I show that this view makes accurate predictions about a number of correlates of the EC/PC split, including the crosslinguistic distribution of restructuring (monoclausality effects), the distribution of finite complements (in English), and the distribution of overt embedded subjects (crosslinguistically). I furthermore show how a uniform raising analysis of EC predicates like "try" can be reconciled with their apparent 'control' properties via the proposal that such predicates are semantically anchored to an individual that must be represented in the syntax, and I argue that this proposal sheds new light on an old question in the restructuring literature: why a predicate's (in)ability to restructure is largely predictable from its semantics. The conclusion is that the restructuring status of EC predicates follows from an interaction between their lexical semantics and general constraints on clausal architecture.