This article provides a typology of null subjects (e.g. pro, PRO) and their control in Finnish. It argues that there are two syntactic environments licensing controlled null pronouns in this language. One environment, licensing an element closely resembling or identical with pro, is characterized by morphosyntactic activity, while the other exhibits the exact opposite profile and licenses PRO. Control properties of the two types of null subjects differ from each other and are shown to depend on three notions: c-command, locality and discourse. An analysis is provided that explains why null subjects are generated in the presence (e.g. pro) and absence (e.g. PRO) of morphosyntax, and why these elements exhibit the control properties that they do. According to this analysis, both pro and PRO are real pronominal elements, bare phi-sets, which contain uninterpretable features that trigger control relations at LF. Morphosyntax (Agree) is seen as a mechanism that renders arguments visible at PF and LF, while discourse-interpreted elements are exempted from this restriction.
Keywords: null subjects; control; finite control; Finnish; obligatory control; pro-drop; partial pro-drop
We discuss Hungarian sentences in which a (possessor or non-possessor) dependent of a noun head takes either noun-phrase-internal or external scope. We also investigate cases in which (i) the dependent in question is extracted from its matrix nominal expression (at least virtually) and (ii) several scope taking dependents can be found within a nominal expression. Particular attention is paid to scope taking dependents of (complex-event denoting) deverbal nominal constructions. In order to capture the phenomenon of internal-scope taking within nominal expressions, we propose a general syntactic representation in which the essentially morphology-based accounts are integrated with cartographic Split-DP / clausal-DP approaches (e.g. Giusti 1996, Grohmann 2003) via inserting operator layers in the new noun phrase structure. Certain language-specific intricacies are attributed to a post-Transfer process in PF in Sigurðsson’s (2009) spirit, and certain extraction phenomena are accounted for by means of remnant movement.
Keywords: extraction, Hungarian, information structure, nominal constructions, scope
The article describes the ways in which various aspectual characteristics and markers affect the total vs. partial object alternation in Estonian da-infinitive constructions, where object case usage is far less consistent than it is in finite clauses. The variation in object case in these constructions can be seen as a case of competing motivations, where some elements of the sentence support the use of the total object and others the use of the partial object. Using corpus data, the article explores the interplay between different constructions and aspectual features, revealing a considerable degree of constructionspecificity: while some aspectual features prove significant for object case in all the constructions examined, others may have a substantial impact on object case in one dainfinitive construction but no impact at all in another construction. Moreover, aside from the core criteria which condition the use of the partitive object in all constructions in Estonian (including finite clauses), none of the relationships between aspect and object case in da-infinitive constructions are anywhere close to absolute. Finally, attention is drawn to the notion of the partitive as the default object case and how this default status manifests itself in da-infinitive constructions as compared to finite clauses.
Keywords: aspect, competing motivations, differential object marking, infinitives, variation