On the control/raising ambiguity with aspectual verbs : a structural account

  • In what follows, I first briefly review Perlmutter (1968, 1970), in which it is argued that aspectual verbs are ambiguous between control and raising. I suggest that while the argument for the raising analysis is solid, the arguments supporting the control analysis of aspectual verbs are less so. As an alternative hypothesis to consider, I introduce the structural ambiguity hypothesis. In Section 3, I review three recent analyses of control and raising. Although there are important differences among them, they all share the basic assumption that the control/raising distinction is due to differences in selectional restrictions that the lexical items impose. Under such an assumption, the lexical ambiguity hypothesis is the only available option. In Section 4, I present evidence for the structural ambiguity hypothesis from studies concerning aspectual verbs in languages from four distinct families, German (Wurmbrand 2001), Japanese (Fukuda 2006), Romance languages (Cinque 2003), and Basque (Arregi Molina-Azaola 2004). These data strongly suggest that across languages aspectual verbs can appear in two different syntactic positions, either below or above vP, or the projection with which an external argument is introduced (Kratzer 1994, 1996, Chomsky 1995). Given these findings, I argue that it is the aspectual verbs' position with respect to vP which creates the control/raising ambiguity. When an aspectual verb appears in a position that is lower than vP, an external argument takes scope over the aspectual verb. Thus, it is interpreted as control. When an aspectual verb appears in a position that is higher than vP, on the other hand, it is the aspectual verb that takes scope over an entire vP, including the external argument. Thus, it is interpreted as raising. In section 5, I extend the scope of this study to include a discussion of want-type verbs in Indonesian, as analyzed in Polinsky & Potsdam (2006). Polinsky & Potsdam argue that the Indonesian want-type verbs must be raising in at least certain cases where they allow a rather peculiar interpretation. Although they assume that there are also control counterparts of the want-type verbs, I argue that applying the proposed analysis to the want-type verbs does away with the need for stipulating two distinct lexical entries for these verbs. Section 6 concludes the paper.

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Author:Shin Fukuda
Parent Title (English):Studies in complement control, Stiebels, Barbara (Hrsg.), Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Berlin; ZASPil Vol. 47, S. 159-195
Publisher:Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung
Place of publication:Berlin
Document Type:Part of a Book
Year of first Publication:2007
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2013/11/14
GND Keyword:Move-alpha; Inchoativ; Raising; Kontrolle <Linguistik>; Syntax; Deutsch; Englisch; Bahasa Indonesia; Baskisch; Japanisch
Page Number:37
First Page:159
Last Page:195
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 41 Linguistik / 410 Linguistik
Linguistik-Klassifikation:Linguistik-Klassifikation: Syntax
Linguistik-Klassifikation: Morphologie / Morphology
Linguistik-Klassifikation: Grammatikforschung / Grammar research
Zeitschriften / Jahresberichte:ZAS papers in linguistics : ZASPiL / ZASPiL 47 = Studies in complement control
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht