Control and extraposition: The case of Super-Equi

Idan Landau*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Previous analyses of control in Super-Equi have failed to account for the entire paradigm of relevant cases. A new generalization is stated: Obligatory Control (OC) obtains in extraposition only under psychological predicates. It is argued that extraposition is driven by the requirement that VP-internal clauses be peripheral at PF. This is satisfied by a CAUSER infinitive which is projected below an EXPERIENCER DP, but not by one projected above a THEME/GOAL DP. Thus extraposition is blocked in the former case and licensed in the latter. Crucially, only when the infinitive is extraposed to an adjunct position (or intraposed to a subject position) can it give rise to Non-Obligatory Control (NOC); this is supported by a correlation between NOC and failure of extraction from the infinitive. It is claimed that in OC an Agree relation is established between the matrix functional head that licenses the controller and an anaphoric infinitival Agr, which raises to the embedded C as a 'free-rider' on T. Since Agree is sensitive to islands, the distributional distinction between OC and NOC reduces to the CED. Failing syntactic identification, the infinitival Agr is licensed as a logophor, explaining some well-known properties of NOC in Super-Equi. The proposed account unifies a wide range of phenomena unrelated under alternative analyses of control and Super-Equi.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-152
Number of pages44
JournalNatural Language and Linguistic Theory
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2001
Externally publishedYes


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