Ndayiragije (2012) and Wood (2012) present arguments against the movement theory of control (MTC) based on data from Kirundi and Icelandic, respectively. We show that these data are easily accounted for by current formulations of the MTC.
We begin in section 1 with a brief outline of the movement theory of control (MTC). In section 2 we respond to the arguments in Wood 2012, and in section 3 we respond to those in Ndayiragije 2012. We conclude in section 4 with some general methodological remarks and notes on some more serious problems for the MTC.
1 The Movement Theory of Control
The core claim of the MTC is that obligatory control is derived via A-movement. For example, the subject of the embedded clause in (1a) is interpreted as a variable bound by John because John has undergone A-movement from the embedded to the matrix subject position.
John wants to win.
[John] wants [TP
Viewed in more detail, the derivation sketched in (1b) involves three movements. John begins in a θ-position where it receives the external θ-role of win. It then moves via the embedded Spec,TP to a θ-position where it receives the external θ-role of wants.1 Finally, it moves to the matrix Spec,TP to receive Case.
(2) [TP [John] [vP
[John]wants [TP [John]to [vP [John]win]]]].
θ-roles are treated as features within the MTC, and the movement into matrix Spec,vP is assumed to be driven directly by θ-role assignment. The MTC adopts the standard assumption that A-movement into matrix Spec,TP is driven primarily by the need of the subject DP to check/value its Case feature.2
To deal with adjunct control, Hornstein (2001) proposes that the operations Copy and Merge should be allowed to apply freely between workspaces, yielding so-called sideward movement (Nunes 1995, Bobaljik and Brown 1997, Uriagereka 1998). A sample adjunct control derivation is given in (3).
The analysis of adjunct control in terms of sideward movement explains three key properties of the construction. First, it explains why adjunct control is not blocked by the Condition on Extraction Domain (CED), since John moves before the without-PP is merged as an adjunct. Second, in conjunction with a ‘‘Merge over Move’’ constraint, the analysis explains why adjunct control is typically subject-oriented. If John had moved instead to become the object of laughed at, Merge over Move would have been violated, since an alternative option at this point in the derivation would have been to merge Mary from the numeration. Third, the analysis explains why Ā-movement out of adjuncts is impossible. Consider the derivation of the illicit (4).
(4) *Who did John laugh at Bill before Mary spoke to?
At this point in the derivation, who in workspace 2 can move sideward into Spec,CP of workspace 1 without violating the CED. Thus, if it were then possible for the before-PP to adjoin to the main CP, the derivation could converge on the structure in (6).
[CP [who] [CP C [TP [John] [vP
[John]laugh at Bill]]]
[PP before Mary spoke to
Hornstein (2001) follows Reinhart (1983) in assuming that the relevant class of adjuncts must adjoin below C. If adjunction is subject to extension, it follows that there can be no derivation of (6) that satisfies both the requirements of the adjunct and the requirements of the wh-phrase (Hornstein 2001:89–90). If the adjunct adjoins at TP or below, then by the time C has merged, who will already be trapped in an adjunct island.
(7) [CP C [TP [TP [John] [vP
[John]laughed at Bill]] [PP before Mary spoke to [who]]]]
On the other hand, if the adjunct has not adjoined by the time C is merged, it has missed its opportunity to attach to the matrix structure. The derivation therefore cannot resolve to a single workspace and crashes. In the control derivation in (3), sideward movement targets Spec,vP rather than Spec,CP. The adjunct can therefore attach below C as required, and the derivation converges. In general, there are two factors that determine whether or not a particular movement can escape an adjunct via sideward movement: (a) the maximum height of the adjunct in the main clause, and (b) the height of the landing site. The latter must be lower than the former.
2 Wood 2012
2.1 Extraposed Infinitives
Following Thráinsson (1979), Wood notes that Icelandic control infinitives can occur together with the Case-marked pronoun það ‘it’. On Thráinsson’s analysis of this construction, the infinitive is extraposed and the pronoun is its associate. Ā-movement and raising are impossible out of extraposed infinitives, but control into extraposed infinitives is possible. To all appearances, then, the correct generalization regarding extraposed infinitives is that they are islands for both A- and Ā-movement. Under nonmovement analyses of control, it is unsurprising that control into extraposed infinitives is nonetheless possible. Wood argues that there is no principled way of reconciling these facts with the MTC, since if both control and raising are A-movements, they should be subject to the same constraints on extraction.
Echoing the preceding literature on the MTC, we emphasize once again that the MTC is not a raising theory of control. Differences between raising and control are perfectly compatible with the MTC if these can be shown to derive from the differing targets of A-movement in each instance (a Case position for raising and a θ-position for control). Wood’s data provide a further illustration of this point. To begin with, let us consider the ban on raising out of an extraposed infinitive. Assume for the moment that the extraposed clause is base-generated in an argument position and arrives in its extraposed position via movement or some other operation. In this scenario, there are two logically possible derivations that must be ruled out: one in which raising precedes extraposition, and one in which raising follows extraposition. If an extraposed clause is an island for extraction, we can immediately rule out the second possibility. The key question is therefore whether raising could occur prior to extraposition. Assuming that both raising and extraposition are subject to the Extension Condition, raising can precede extraposition only if extraposition targets a higher position than raising.
The logic is identical for control, but for the fact that the initial movement out of the embedded infinitive targets Spec,vP rather than Spec,TP. Given the hypothesis in (9), the MTC therefore provides a straightforward account of Wood’s data.
(9) Extraposed infinitives in Icelandic must adjoin below the finite subject position.
So far, we have worked on the assumption that extraposition is movement. If the extraposed infinitive is base-generated in an adjoined position, then both control and raising are sideward rather than upward movements. The (illicit) derivation for raising is shown in (10), with the position where the extraposed infinitive is interpreted marked by [TPe].
Illicit raising derivation that would be available if (9) were false
Matrix clause is constructed up to T′ in workspace 1; extraposed associate of [TPe] is constructed in workspace 2:
Sideward movement of XP from workspace 2 into Spec,TP in the matrix clause in workspace 1:
Infinitive clause adjoins to matrix clause:
[TP[TP XP [T′. . . [TPe] . . . ]] [TP
XP. . . ]]
How empirically plausible is the hypothesis in (9)? We don’t know about Icelandic, but there is well-known evidence that is correct for English. The extraposed clause likely attaches around vP/VP, which is why it can be elided in VP-ellipsis (11a) and fronted in VP-fronting (11b).
John hates it that Frank left and Harry does
[hate it that Frank left]too.
John [hates it that Frank left], and [hate it that Frank left]1 he should t1.
In addition, as (12) shows, extraposition fails to bleed Condition C effects triggered by subject pronouns. This follows immediately if extraposed clauses attach below TP.
(12) *He1 hates it that we don’t like John1.
In sum, rather than being problematic for the MTC, Wood’s Icelandic data may well constitute another argument in its favor.4
2.2 Icelandic Quirky Case
Wood states that Boeckx and Hornstein (hereafter B&H) (2006) and Boeckx, Hornstein, and Nunes (hereafter BH&N) (2010b) ‘‘fail to address the strongest argument against Case-driven movement: that the nominative case borne by PRO is the same structural nominative as that seen in finite clauses’’ (2012:322). Here, Wood appears to be referencing two objections first raised by Sigurðsson (2008) and Bobaljik and Landau (2009) (which BH&N (2010b) in fact mention briefly in footnote 8 on page 122 and address implicitly on page 120). The objections are as follows.
(i) Sigurðsson (2008) notes that case-agreeing elements in Icelandic typically appear in the nominative when they are associated with PRO. If, as B&H (2006) suggest, this nominative is a default case rather than a structural one, how do we account for the fact that certain of these elements show up in an invariable, nonagreeing default form when associated with a quirky-Casemarked subject? Should we not expect these to surface in the nominative default form, too, if it is indeed the default?
(ii) Bobaljik and Landau (2009:123) argue as follows:
The participial agreement facts are particularly relevant, since, as B&H [(2006)] note, ‘‘overt morphological agreement on . . . passive past participles (case, number, gender) can only take place with elements bearing structural Case’’ ( pp. 592–593, emphasis added [by B&L]). Since the passive participle in control complements obligatorily agrees with the null subject of the infinitive . . . , it follows—on B&H’s own assumptions—that this nominative is structural case, not default case.
Honum er kalt/*kaldur/*köldum.
him.DAT is cold.DEFAULT/*NOM.M.SG/*DAT.M.SG
‘He is cold.’
Examples of this sort show that ‘‘predicative adjectives and participles that take a quirky subject (and do not also take a nominative object . . . ) show up in an invariable, default form, regardless of the gender and number of the quirky subject’’ ( p. 407, italics in original). The same appears to hold in embedded clauses with PRO subjects. If the predicate is one that takes a quirky-Casemarked subject, then predicative adjectives and participles do not agree. In contrast, if the predicate is one that does not take a quirky-Case-marked subject, these elements do agree. This is shown in (14a–b).5
Hann vonaðist til [að PRO verða ekki of kalt].
he.NOM hoped for to DAT be not too cold.DEFAULT
‘He hoped not to get (feeling) too cold.’ (≠ ‘be cool/daring’)
Hann vonaðist til [að PRO verða nógu kaldur].
he.NOM hoped for to NOM be enough cool/daring.NOM.M.SG
‘He hoped to be cool/daring enough.’ (≠ ‘be (feeling) cold’)
To keep things as simple as possible, we will leave aside the question of whether Sigurðsson’s criticism is accurate as applied to its target, B&H 2006. The following, therefore, should be read not as a response to Sigurðsson ’s original argument, but as a response to Wood’s application of this argument to BH&N’s (2010b) proposals. The data in (14) are in fact straightforwardly accommodated by BH&N’s analysis. The generalization is simply that predicative adjectives and participles associated with a quirky-Case-marked subject surface in the invariable form, and that predicative adjectives and participles associated with a Caseless PRO surface in the default nominative form. Crucially, BH&N’s analysis distinguishes quirky-Case-marked PRO from Caseless PRO, so it is not necessary to hypothesize that both forms result from one and the same default assignment rule (which would obviously be problematic). Recall that on BH&N’s analysis, quirky Case is assigned to the controller when it starts out in an embedded clause whose predicate takes a quirky-Case-marked subject. In ordinary instances of control, on the other hand, the controller is not assigned any Case until it reaches the matrix subject position. In (14a), the quirky Case features of the controller block both Case agreement and φ-feature agreement so that the adjective surfaces in the invariant form. In (14b), by contrast, φ-feature agreement proceeds normally. Since the controller in (14b) has no syntactic Case features, no Case features can be transferred to the adjective via Agree, and the adjective is consequently spelled out with default nominative case morphology. In other words, the controller and the adjective both end up with nominative morphology not because Agree copies nominative features from the controller to the adjective, but because there are no Case features on the controller to copy, leaving the adjective too without a syntactic Case specification. The key point here, as BH&N note (2010b:122n8), is that there is no reason to suppose that the lack of a syntactic Case specification should block φ-feature agreement. Thus, there is no reason to expect the adjective to surface in the invariant form.
To make the preceding discussion a little more concrete, we will now sketch a toy Distributed Morphology–style analysis for the adjective kaldur ‘cold’.6 The table in (15) gives the full strong paradigm for kaldur, which (modulo a few vowel changes) follows the usual pattern of -ur adjectives in Icelandic. The toy analysis for the paradigm in (15) is given in (16). Since we are not concerned with the morphology of Icelandic adjectives as such, we simply give the full form of the adjective on the left of each Vocabulary item in (16).7 It is helpful to be able to group masculine and feminine nouns and identify feminine nouns via a single feature. We therefore make use of two features, [±A] and [±B], to specify gender, with masculine = [+A,+B], feminine = [+A,−B], and neuter = [−A,+B].8 Masculine and feminine share [+A], while [−B] uniquely identifies feminine. Apart from this, we make use of a [±pl] ( plural) feature, and [±nom], [±acc], [±dat], and [±gen] features for Icelandic’s cases.
On this analysis, nominative forms are defaults in the sense that the relevant Vocabulary items do not specify a [+nom] feature; it is only the presence of more specific accusative, dative, and genitive forms that prevents the nominative morphology from surfacing for adjectives with these Case specifications. The absolute default form is ‘kalt’, and it is therefore this form that surfaces when neither Case features nor φ-features are specified (since all of the other Vocabulary items impose restrictions on either number, gender, or Case). Let us now consider how these observations relate to the contrast in (14). In (14a), the quirky-Case-marked subject blocks φ-feature agreement (and PRO has no Case features), with the consequence that the only matching Vocabulary item is the one for ‘kalt’. In (14b), PRO likewise has no Case features, but since φ-feature agreement has occurred, the Vocabulary item for ‘kalt’ is blocked by the more specific Vocabulary item for ‘kaldur’, which is specified [+A,+B] (masculine).
The essential point here is the following. Since BH&N’s (2010b) analysis makes a featural distinction between the PRO in (14a) and the PRO in (14b), and since via Agree (or the lack thereof ) this distinction gives rise to a similar distinction in the feature specifications of the two adjectives, it is straightforward to devise a set of morphological rules that spells out the two adjectives differently in each case. The question, then, is not whether it is possible to derive the correct output given the MTC, but whether the required morphological analysis is plausible. Since morphological rules often are complex and arbitrary, it would hardly strike the death blow against the MTC if the postulation of complex and arbitrary morphological rules proved to be necessary in this instance. But in any case, the underspecification analysis sketched above strikes us as distinctly unegregious. It embodies the rather innocuous pair of assumptions (a) that nominative is in morphological terms the default case in Icelandic, and (b) that there is a highly underspecified form of the adjective that surfaces in the absence of any Case features or φ-features.
In this light, consider objection (ii) above. The quotation from Bobaljik and Landau 2009:123 is taken from section 2 of B&H 2006, which gives a brief descriptive summary of the relevant Icelandic control facts. At this point in the article, none of B&H’s theoretical proposals have been introduced in detail; ‘‘structural case’’ is simply used in contrast to ‘‘quirky case.’’ (As indicated above, quirky-Case-bearing elements do not trigger participle agreement in Icelandic.) Nowhere do B&H suggest that DPs that receive default nominative should be invisible for agreement. And in any case, this assumption is not independently motivated, or required for any other aspect of B&H’s analysis. Sigurðsson (2008:418) remarks that ‘‘if the notion of ‘default nominative’ is to make sense as a different notion than ‘structural nominative,’ one would expect it to differ from the latter precisely in being an elsewhere case, invisible to agreement.’’ We hope that the analysis sketched in (16) will make it clear how default nominative is fully compatible with agreement.9
Since the presence of a [+nom] feature makes no difference to the morphological realization of an adjective, the present analysis leaves it an open question whether Icelandic has syntactic nominative at all. If [+nom] is syntactically present, then there are in general two ways of deriving real/apparent agreement with respect to a nominative specification.
If, on the other hand, [+nom] is not syntactically present (so that ‘‘nominative’’ elements are simply Caseless elements), then all apparent agreement with respect to a nominative specification is an instance of the configuration in (17b).
Therefore, a notational variant of Boeckx, Hornstein, and Nunes’s (2010b) analysis might say that DPs need ‘‘φ-complete valuation’’ rather than Case valuation, and then draw some strong formal connection between certain morphological case values and agreement with different φ-complete probes, while maintaining the position that control sentences are derived by A-movement. While raising and control would then be similar in that they both involve A-movement out of an infinitive, they would differ precisely where Boeckx, Hornstein, and Nunes (2010a,b) claim they do: only the latter involves movement into a θ-position. This claim might seem unfalsifiable, as has been noted (see Sigurðsson 2008:418–419), but it could, in principle, be correct.
In the last sentence, this claim appears at first glance to refer to the claim that both raising and control involve A-movement, differing only with regard to whether there is movement into a θ-position. This is not, however, the claim that Sigurðsson takes to be insusceptible to any ‘‘theoretical test’’ in the cited passage. And of course, if Wood were really to say that the core theses of the MTC are unfalsifiable, this would frustrate the central aim of his squib, which is to establish that these theses are false (hence falsifiable). Perhaps, then, it is BH&N’s claims regarding default case assignment that Wood takes to be unfalsifiable. However, we surely cannot rule out on a priori methodological grounds the hypothesis that a particular entity has a certain kind of case morphology as the result of a default assignment rule.11 What Sigurðsson in fact takes issue with in the cited passage is B&H’s (2006) claim that, in certain control examples with floating quantifiers in the embedded clause, the assignment of default nominative is a ‘‘marked’’ process conditioned on the distance between the controller and the floating quantifier. This claim is not actually reproduced in BH&N 2010b, since (following observations by SigurLsson and others) BH&N are working with a different set of assumptions about the marked/unmarked status of various case patterns (see the first complete paragraph of BH&N 2010b:123).
3 Ndayiragije 2012
Ndayiragije (2012) presents three sets of data that are alleged to raise problems for the MTC. The first is based on fronted control infinitives in Kirundi. Although this is not entirely clear from Ndayiragije’s presentation, it should be emphasized that this part of his article does not challenge the MTC itself (which is a theory of obligatory control (OC) relations); rather, it challenges the supplementary thesis that obligatory and nonobligatory control (NOC) relations are in complementary distribution (Hornstein 2001:56–58, Boeckx and Hornstein 2004:sec. 3.5). That this thesis is false can in fact be shown using English data.
John1 believes that [pro1 washing himself ] would delight Bill2.
John1 believes that [PRO2 washing himself ] would delight Bill2.
Examples of this sort are discussed in B&H 2007, which develops a parsing-theoretic account of the distribution of NOC PRO. Ndayiragije does not discuss B&H’s analysis, but we believe that it can also account for the Kirundi examples that Ndayiragije discusses.12
Ndayiragije’s second data set relates to attempts to account for Visser’s Generalization within the MTC. Visser’s Generalization (Bresnan 1982) is the generalization that subject control predicates do not passivize. Ndayiragije rightly points to some Kirundi data that are problematic for the analysis of Visser’s Generalization proposed in B&H 2004. However, the data that Ndayiragije discusses are very similar to data discussed in BH&N 2010a:132–136, where BH&N propose a new analysis of Visser’s Generalization that Ndayiragije does not address. As far as we can see, Ndayiragije’s Kirundi data would not be problematic for this analysis.13
Ndayiragije’s third argument focuses on the puzzle posed by promise. This verb is one of few exceptions in English to Rosenbaum’s (1967) Minimal Distance Principle. In the MTC, the Minimal Distance Principle is a corollary of Minimality. The basic datum is illustrated in (19). Although promise takes an object, it is the subject that controls.
(19) John1 promised Mary2 [PRO1/*2 to leave].
Hornstein (2001) and B&H (2003) propose to reconcile (19) with Minimality by positing a null preposition. The structure introduced by this preposition blocks the c-command relation between Mary and the base position of John, so that John can move over Mary without violating Minimality.
(20) John promised [PP[P ∅] Mary] [
Ndayiragije’s two central contentions in relation to promise are these: first, that there is a verb in Kirundi that displays essentially the same control behavior as promise; second, that the null preposition analysis cannot be correct for Kirundi. Unfortunately, Ndayiragije provides very little by way of argument for the second contention. This is crucial, since the mere fact that there is a Kirundi verb that patterns with promise poses no threat to the MTC (or at least, no greater threat than the English data alone). The only potentially relevant fact that Ndayiragije points to is a binding asymmetry between the benefactive and theme arguments of the relevant verb. The benefactive can bind a variable in the theme but not vice versa (see Ndayiragije’s examples (7a–b), reproduced here).
Yohani a-á-ra-emer-ir-ye umuvyêyi umwumwéi umwâna wiwei.
John 1SA-PST-AF-agree-APPL-ASP 1parent each 1child of.him
‘John promised each parenti hisi child.’
*Yohani a-á-ra-emer-ir-ye umuvyêyi wiwei umwâna umwumwéi.
John 1SA-PST-AF-agree-APPL-ASP 1parent of.him 1child each
‘*John promised his parenti each childi.’
Ndayiragije takes this as evidence for a structure in which the benefactive c-commands the theme (or the control complement14). Similar examples can also be given in English.
I1 promised each parent2 PRO1 to take care of his2 child.
I1 made a promise to each parent2 PRO1 to take care of his2 child.
As is well-known, variable binding is not constrained by strict c-command at Surface Structure, so Ndayiragije’s data appear to be uninformative with regard to the presence or absence of a null preposition.15
We have argued that the data presented by Wood (2012) pose no difficulty for the core thesis of the MTC that control relations are A-movement relations. Indeed, Wood’s data can be construed as supporting the theory, since the interaction of extraposition with raising and control follows directly from the theory of movement assumed by the MTC together with the plausible hypothesis (9). The data that Ndayiragije (2012) presents seem largely uninformative with regard to the MTC (except insofar as they replicate well-known problematic English data).
Should we conclude, then, that all is well with the MTC? Far from it. The MTC is but one component of a research program that seeks a unified analysis of a wide range of syntactic dependencies in terms of A- and Ā-movement. There are a number of problems facing this research program, and we would like to close by highlighting three of them.
(i) Sideward movement and Merge over Move. As we showed in section 1, these two theoretical innovations are crucially implicated in the MTC’s analysis of adjunct control. Nunes (1995) imposed a strict c-command constraint on sideward movement, requiring that one copy c-command all of the other copies in the final output. Hornstein (2001, 2009) points out that there are a small number of OC configurations that are incompatible with this requirement. This raises two very interesting and difficult theoretical questions. First, is there any further empirical motivation for removing the c-command requirement? At present, we do not know of any compelling cases.16 Second, if the c-command requirement is removed, how is sideward movement to be constrained? Subnumerations can be used to prevent some of the more ‘‘wild’’ cases of overgeneration, and Merge over Move tends to prevent sideward movement into deeply embedded positions. A key empirical issue here is the correct analysis of subcommand configurations, which suggest that sideward A-movement into DP specifiers may sometimes be permitted.
(ii) Nonfinite complementation. The MTC predicts that nonfinite complements should all behave similarly with respect to control, since they are all transparent for A-movement. This implies that in general, any kind of complement clause that permits control should also permit raising, and vice versa. This is a strong prediction. Early indications are that it is correct. For example, Greek and Romanian allow both raising and control into subjunctive clauses, and Brazilian Portuguese allows both raising and control into indicative clauses (BH&N 2010a:70–74). However, further research might uncover languages in which raising and control do not pattern identically in this respect, and the existence of such languages would pose a significant problem for the MTC. A related question is whether all control complements are CPs, and if so, whether movement out of a control complement proceeds via Spec,CP. Apparent instances of OC into finite clauses conditioned on the form of the complementizer lend some plausibility to this hypothesis (Potsdam and Polinsky 2007).
(iii) Phases. The interaction of the MTC with phase theory has not received much attention so far. Since the MTC makes no appeal to phases, one perfectly viable option for a proponent of the MTC is simply to reject phase theory. However, if we do attempt to reconcile the MTC with phase theory, some interesting issues arise. In particular, there is a threat of overgeneration. Recall from section 2 that the MTC gives the following explanation for why control into adjuncts is possible even though wh-movement out of adjuncts is not. In the case of control, the controller can move out of the adjunct-to-be before it is merged as an adjunct, since the target of movement, Spec,vP, is lower than the adjunction site. In contrast, wh-movement targets Spec,CP, which is higher than the adjunction site. The overgeneration problem that arises in connection with phase theory is as follows. If wh-movement proceeds via the edge of the vP phase, it may be possible for the wh-phrase to move to the edge of vP prior to adjunction. Thus, there is a prima facie conflict between the MTC and the assumption that wh-movement proceeds via Spec,vP.17
There is, then, no reason to be sanguine regarding the future fortunes of the MTC. We will have to see how satisfactorily (i)–(iii) and other issues can be resolved while retaining the explanatory and empirical successes of existing formulations of the MTC. The MTC and its competitors are all worthy of, and in need of, further development. It is only by continuing to develop these competing theories that we can learn something more about the range of plausible candidate theories of control, and of grammatical dependencies more generally.
We would like to thank two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments and suggestions.
1 Movement to the embedded Spec,TP would presumably be driven by the EPP (Extended Projection Principle). It is not in fact crucial to the MTC that this intermediate movement occurs.
2 It is clear that the EPP cannot be the crucial factor, since DPs may control from nonsubject positions. It is worth noting, however, that the hypothesis that this movement is Case-driven is not a crucial component of the MTC (see also footnote 8). The core claim is simply that whatever drives A-movement in (i)–(ii) is also what drives A-movement to subject and object case positions in instances of subject and object control.
(i) [John] seems [TP
[John]to have left].
(ii) John believes [AgrOP [Bill] [TP
[Bill]to be intelligent]].
3 With regard to Ā-movement, note that Ā-movements are typically driven by heads above T. The islandhood of extraposed infinitives for Ā-movement therefore follows on the same logic. An issue arises here in connection with successive-cyclic movement through Spec,vP (see also point (iii) of section 4). We cannot permit sideward wh-movement into Spec,vP followed by upward movement to Spec,CP. If wh-movement stops off in Spec,vP, there must therefore be a ban on successive-cyclic sideward movement. This may follow if successive-cyclic movement is driven not by feature checking but by a requirement that chain links be as short as possible (Takahashi 1994, Bošković 2002). Sideward movement to Spec,vP is no ‘‘shorter’’ than sideward movement direct to Spec,CP, given Hornstein’s (2009) path-based conception of Minimality.
6 On Distributed Morphology, see Harley and Noyer 1999 and references cited therein. Our use of technology taken from the Distributed Morphology literature is incidental and implies no commitment to its foundational assumptions.
7 A nontoy Distributed Morphology analysis would split the adjective into a stem followed by one or more suffixes, with only the suffixes being spelled out via Vocabulary items. Readjustment rules would trigger the vowel changes seen in some parts of the paradigm.
8 The impoverishment rules 15, 16, and 18 of (16) can yield the specification [−A,−B]. This is in effect a feminine specification, since the Vocabulary items identify feminine adjectives solely via the [−B] specification. The impoverishment rules apply in order. Rule 16 may bleed rule 18, but this has no effect on output.
9 There is, however, an issue here relating to the analyses originally proposed by B&H (2006) and BH&N (2010b). Both analyses appear to rest on the assumption that default nominative arises from some kind of postsyntactic morphological case assignment rule. An anonymous reviewer argues that on this analysis, one might expect a default nominative specification to be purely morphological and hence invisible to syntactic agreement (so that no syntactic process could transfer PRO’s syntactically invisible default nominative Case onto the adjective). The present analysis obviates this concern since there is no default case assignment rule.
10 It is our understanding that the orthodox view these days is that case assignment is a by-product of φ-feature valuation, so that it is really φ-features that drive A-movement (Chomsky 2001). On this understanding, Wood’s ‘‘notational variant’’ of BH&N’s (2010b) proposal just is BH&N’s proposal interpreted in relation to currently prevalent theoretical background assumptions.
11 Although this is not the place to discuss the philosophy of science (and we can hardly claim any expertise in this area), our impression of the field is that Popperian falsificationism (Popper 1935) has never been a majority view, and nowadays has virtually no advocates whatever. Indeed, the very existence of a demarcation criterion has long been in doubt (Laudan 1983).
12BH&N (2010b) assume that the parser has two key properties: (i) it prefers to postulate movement dependencies instead of pronominalization dependencies where possible; and (ii) it assigns interpretations to traces and pronouns as soon as possible. In the examples Ndayiragije discusses, there is a conflict between (i) and (ii). If the subject of the fronted infinitive is parsed as a trace, (i) is satisfied but (ii) is not (since the parser must wait indefinitely to find the antecedent of the trace). On the other hand, if it is parsed as pro, (ii) is satisfied (since pro can be assigned a referent immediately) but (i) is not. It seems that, as in English examples such as (18a), the parser can be pulled in either direction, so that both OC and NOC are possible.
13 Ndayiragije presents one additional argument against the MTC from passivization phenomena. This argument begins with the observation that in transitive expletive constructions with passivized control predicates, PRO cannot be replaced with an overt subject (whether or not this subject undergoes inversion). Ndayiragije takes this to be unexpected when the subject is inverted, since on his analysis, the Focus position that is the landing site of the inverted subject serves as a surrogate Case licensor. In Ndayiragije’s view, this distributional fact is to be explained simply via the stipulation that T in a control infinitive requires a PRO specifier. Ndayiragije’s argument here is entirely dependent on the hypothesis that Focus can serve as a surrogate Case licensor. One might equally well take Ndayiragije’s data as a challenge to this hypothesis.
14 Ndayiragije’s examples (7a–b) do not actually show ‘promise’ taking a control complement; we will assume that the benefactive is able to bind variables in the control clause.
15 Ndayiragije also points to an instance of control shift that correlates with a change in verb meaning (his example (10)). Control shift is a puzzling phenomenon, but Ndayiragije does not make it clear why the Kirundi example he cites raises problems that the familiar English examples do not. See BH&N 2010a for discussion.
17 This assumption is not necessarily tied to phase theory. It is also a crucial component of Chomsky’s (1986) barriers theory, for example.