Modelling Control Theory

Modelling Control Theory   DFG-Projekt AL 554/10-1; FI 1959/2-1

Beginning October 1st, 2014
Funding Period 3 years
Principal Investigators

Prof. Dr. Artemis Alexiadou

Dr. Silke Fischer

Postdoc Dr. Marcel Pitteroff
PhD Patrick Lindert

The main goal of the project is to develop a comprehensive syntactic theory of control which is based on the phase model as underlying framework.

Since one basic insight in recent discussions on control has been that languages differ in whether they allow backward control or not, and since it has subsequently been claimed that the existence of backward control provides strong support for the MTC, the project has two pillars:

One main focus lies on a close investigation of BC. In fact, BC raises two issues. First of all, the phenomenon as such has to be critically scrutinized: Are all structures that are commonly subsumed under BC really control structures? Which languages exhibit BC, and which criteria are reliable to identify BC? Once these questions are settled, BC can be used as an indicator of the adequacy of different theories of control – the question arises as to whether a given theory can handle the data, and since the discussion of BC is a relatively new one, it might play a decisive role in determining the validity of control theories.

The hypothesis we will explore is that BC can be reduced to LDA. If this turns out to be correct, then the picture is as follows: There are on the one hand Greek-type languages (which we label Agree languages), for which LDA is involved also in control structures. This is a hypothesis which will have to be tested for more languages, and if true, it would be an appealing account of BC within the phase model. Moreover, this would imply that the phenomenon of BC does not provide a direct argument for the MTC, after all.

On the other hand, there are languages which lack BC (like English), and what is therefore still missing is a new theory of control for these languages. This is another major goal of this project: to develop a theory of control which combines the advantages of both the PRO-based theories of control and the MTC. Although a semantic impact on control is undeniable (as discussed before), it is indisputable that control is also governed by syntactic constraints; cf., for instance, the parallelism between OC PRO and anaphors as far as the syntactic restrictions on their antecedents are concerned (cf. Hornstein 1999:73ff.). The focus of this project lies on the syntactic aspects of control: How is control syntactically constrained and licensed? Conceptually, the idea is to come up with a local derivational theory which is again compatible with recent minimalist assumptions, i.e., a theory which is based on the phase model. Such an approach is missing in the recent debate on control and would finally complete the overall picture of a comprehensive phase-based theory of control.

Control Workshop at the HU Berlin (14-15 October, 2016). 

  • Pitteroff, Marcel, Artemis Alexiadou, Darby, Jeannique & Silke Fischer. 2017 On partial control in German. Journal of Comparative Germanic Lingustics 20.2: 139-185. doi:10.1007/s10828-017-9088-y.
  • Lindert, Patrick. 2017b. Case in Polish predication and control. In: University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics, Vol. 23: Iss.1, Article 15.
  • Pitteroff, Marcel, Artemis Alexiadou & Silke Fischer. 2017. Two mechanisms to derive partial control - Evidence from German. In: University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics, 23.1: 201-210.
  • Lindert, Patrick. 2017aPredication under control: The case of Polish. Proceedings of ConSOLE XXIV: 392-413.
  • Lindert, Patrick. 2016. Default case, NP-ellipsis and the theory of control in Polish. Questions and Answers in Linguistics 3 (1): 1–26.
  • Alexiadou, Artemis, Elena Anagnostopoulou, Gianina Iordachioaia & Michaela Marchis. 2010. No Objections to Backward Control. In Movement Theory of Control, eds. N. Hornstein & M. Polinsky, 89-118. Amsterdam: Benjamins
  • Alexiadou, Artemis, Elena Anagnostopoulou, Gianina Iordachioaia & Michaela Marchis. 2011. A Stronger Argument for Backwards Control. Proceedings of NELS 39.
  • Alexiadou, Artemis, Elena Anagnostopoulou, Gianina Iordachioaia & Michaela Marchis. 2012. In Support of Long Distance Agree. In Local Modelling of Non-Local Dependencies in Syntax, eds. A. Alexiadou, G. Müller & T. Kiss, 85-110. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
  • Alexiadou, Artemis, Elena Anagnostopoulou & Susi Wurmbrand. 2014. Movement vs. Long Distance Agree in Raising: Disappearing Phases and Feature Valuation. In Hsin-Lun Huang, Ethan Poole and Amanda Rysling (eds), Proceedings of NELS 43, 1-12. Amherst, MA: GLSA.
  • Pitteroff, Marcel & Michelle Sheehan. upcoming. The case for fake partial control in French and German. Talk at NELS 48, University of Iceland.
  • Pitteroff, Marcel & Florian Schäfer. upcoming. Implicit control and impersonal passives. Talk at NELS 48, University of Iceland.
  • Schäfer, Florian & Marcel Pitteroff. upcoming. Implicit external arguments in passives - against syntactic projection. Talk at the first Conference on Interdisciplinary Approaches to Linguistic Theory (CIALT), University of Crete.
  • Fischer, Silke & Inghild Flaate Høyem. upcoming. Adjunct control. Talk at CGSW 32, NTNU
  • Pitteroff, Marcel & Florian Schäfer. upcoming. The (in-)ability to control implicitly - a cross-linguistic investigation. Talk at CGSW 32, NTNU.
  • Pitteroff, Marcel & Michelle Sheehan. upcoming. The case for fake partial control in French and German. Talk at CGSW 32, NTNU.
  • Tsakali, Vina, Elena Anagnostopoulou & Artemis Alexiadou. 2017. A New Pattern of CP-Transparency: Implications for the Theory of Backward Control. GLOW 40, Leiden University.
  • Pitteroff, Marcel & Florian Schäfer. 2016. Implicit Control: On Landau's Generalization and Its Exceptions. Talk at the Genus Verbi Workshop, Wittenberg.
  • Fischer, Silke & Marcel Pitteroff. 2016. Psych Verbs and Control into Subject Clauses in German. GGS 44, Universität Leipzig.
  • Tsakali, Vina Elena Anagnostopoulou & Artemis Alexiadou. 2016. Re-evaluating the Evidence for Backward Control. Control Workshop. HU Berlin.
  • Fischer, Silke & Marcel Pitteroff. 2016. Subject Clauses and Control in German. Control Workshop. HU Berlin.
  • Pitteroff, Marcel & Florian Schäfer. 2016. On Implicit Control. Control Workshop. HU Berlin.
  • Lindert, Patrick. 2016. Slavic Control and Case - Routes and Interpretation. Control Workshop. HU Berlin.
  • Pitteroff, Marcel, Artemis Alexiadou & Silke Fischer. 2016. An Experimental Investigation of Partial Control in German. NonFinite Subjects Conference, Nantes.
  • Pitteroff, Marcel, Artemis Alexiadou & Silke Fischer. 2016. - Two Ways to Derive Partial Control: Evidence from German. PLC 40, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Lindert, Patrick. 2016. Predication Under Control - The Case of Polish. PLC 40, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Lindert, Patrick. 2016. Predication Under Control - The Case of Polish. ConSole XXIV. University of York/York St. John University.
  • Lindert, Patrick. 2015. Assigning Cases in Polish Predication and Control. Non-local dependencies in the nominal and verbal domain. University of Lisbon.
  • Lindert, Patrick. 2015. Predication Under Control - The Case of Polish. Linguistics Beyond and Within. University of Lublin.
  • Lindert, Patrick. 2015. Case Alternations in Polish Predication and ControlCase Attraction and related phenomena. University of Wroclaw. 
  • Lindert, Patrick. 2015. Case Mismatch in Polish Control. GGS 43, Bergische universität Wuppertal.
  • Pitteroff, Marcel, Artemis Alexiadou & Silke Fischer. 2015. On Partial Control in German. GGS 43, Bergische Universität Wuppertal.
  • Fischer, Silke. 2013. Intervention Effects in Control Structures. GGS 41, University of Frankfurt/Main.

  • Fischer, Silke. 2013. Object Extraposition in Germanic - A Challenge for Control Theory?CGSW 28, University of Leipzig.
  • Fischer, Silke. 2012. The Emergence of PRO as Repair Strategy. GGS 40, University of Freiburg.

 

  • Fischer, Silke. 2012. The Emergence of PRO as Repair Strategy. Invited talk at the University of Leipzig.
  • Fischer, Silke. 2011. Licensing Control under Agree. Invited talk at the University of Tübingen.