Syntax/semantics group, 11/12 – Martina Martinović

This week’s syntax-semantics reading group meeting will take place Thursday November 12th at 1:30pm. Martina Martinović will be presenting work titled “Control and restructuring in Wolof”:
ABSTRACT: In this talk I discuss the phenomenon of control in the Niger-Congo language Wolof, which has the following interesting properties. First, Wolof only exhibits Exhaustive Control; Partial Control is not possible in the language. Second, all control predicates in Wolof exhibit restructuring properties, both those that cross-linguistically generally restructure, and those that have been argued to never restructure. And finally, only predicates that do not take direct objects participate in control. I will show that these properties give support to Grano’s (2012, 2015) claim that there are two strategies for establishing control: one that results in Exhaustive Control (for Grano, following Cinque (2004), this is raising), and another that results in Partial Control (involving a PRO). Wolof has only one of those strategies. While Wolof does not have direct evidence that the strategy resulting in Exhaustive Control indeed involves raising, it does offer some indirect support for this. First, all control structures restructure, suggesting a reduced complement size that would allow raising. Second, only verbs with no objects allow control, which straightforwardly follows from the Minimal Link Condition. And finally, even if raising to object exists (as argued in Postal 1974), it does appear to be cross-linguistically rare. If EC is raising, this would explain the absence of object control in Wolof. I offer additional evidence for a reduced structure of infinitival complement from cliticization.  

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