Severing the distribution of PRO from case

Idan Landau*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Deriving the distribution of PRO in a principled manner is a central task for the theory of control. Traditionally, Case has been identified as the key to this problem: PRO was argued to bear no Case at all, or some special ("null") Case. I argue that PRO bears standard case like normal lexical DPs; clear evidence comes from languages with case-concord (Russian, Hungarian, Icelandic). Moreover, PRO (and obligatory control) may occur in finite clauses (Hebrew, Balkan languages). Conclusion: PRO's distribution must be completely divorced from Case, possibly because abstract Case does not exist. The alternative is to tie the distribution of PRO to the specific values of [T] and [Agr] on the I0 and C0 heads of the embedded clause (Landau 2004). A feature-based algorithm predicts the distribution of PRO in a variety of clausal complements. It is shown that the system naturally explains some intriguing correlations between obligatory control and agreement in Basque and Welsh complementation structures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-170
Number of pages18
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes


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