Adjunct control in German, Norwegian, and English
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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This paper presents an overview of adjunct control in German, Norwegian, and English, comprising adverbial infinitives, adverbial present and past participle constructions, as well as adverbial small clauses headed by the particle als in German, som in Norwegian, and as in English. We show that the height of the adjunction site (and thus, following scope-based adjunct theories, the underlying semantics of the adjuncts) determines the control possibilities. Based on a large set of data, we argue that event- and process-modifying adjuncts, i.e. adjuncts adjoined in the verbal domain (at the vP- or VP-level, respectively), display obligatory control (OC) properties, whereas sentence and speech act adverbials, which are adjoined at the TP- and CP-level, respectively, rather involve non-obligatory control (NOC). To capture these data theoretically, we propose a structural account that assumes that OC relations are syntactically licensed under upward Agree with PRO being the referentially defective probe that needs to be referentially identified in the course of the derivation by the controller, i.e. the goal. If the adjunct is adjoined in the verbal domain, such an Agree relation can be successfully established and OC is derived. If adjunction occurs in higher adjunction sites, i.e. outside of the verbal domain, feature valuation under Agree fails; as a last resort strategy, the control relation is then licensed on the basis of pragmatic factors, which yields NOC.