A Selectional Theory of Adjunct Control: Introduction
Idan Landau
May 2023

This is the Introduction to my 2021 LI monograph "A Selectional Theory of Adjunct Control", which extends the theory of Landau's (2015) monograph to adjuncts. The entire range of controlled adjuncts fall into two types: Those displaying strict Obligatory Control (OC) and those alternating between OC and Non-Obligatory Control (NOC). This split reflects a fundamental distinction in the semantic type of the adjunct: property (OC) or proposition (NOC), a distinction independently detectable by the adjunct's tolerance to a lexical subject. Furthermore, strict OC adjunct modify the root and attach lower than alternating OC/NOC adjunct, explaining their different configurational properties. The book presents a fully compositional account of controlled adjuncts, utilizing the various attachment sites made available within current views of a layered, articulated VP. While OC into adjuncts is a rigid syntactic dependency (predication), NOC into adjuncts is a gradient pragmatic dependency, sensitive to salience along two main dimensions: logophoricity and topicality. Classical evidence from acquisition studies points to the conclusion that children first master the syntactic dependency (OC) and take longer to master the constraints on the pragmatic one (NOC). Two levels of competition are recognized: Grammar-based competition and processing-based competition. Inside the grammar, OC derivations block NOC derivations that lead to identical interpretations by Economy of Projection. When the two derivations yield distinct interpretations, however, they do not directly compete. Rather, they are made more or less salient depending on the status of the controller on several dimensions of accessibility.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/007315
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: MIT Press
keywords: control, predication, logophoricity, adjuncts, syntax
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