Backward Control in Samoan
Vincent Homer
September 2009

Samoan allows subjectless sentences where a Possessor-DP modifying the Absolutive Theme/Patient argument of a verb can be interpreted as the Agent of that verb (similarly ditransitive constructions are possible where the Absolutive-internal Possessor-DP can be interpreted as the Goal in the absence of an overt Goal-DP). I argue that this phenomenon involves the co-occurrence of two coreferential DPs (one silent and one overt), and that the silent one c-commands the overt one without inducing a Condition C violation, because the two DP occurrences are copies of the same syntactic object, which bears two θ-roles. This paper adopts the theory of control as movement and proposes that the phenomenon is an instance of Backward Control.
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Reference: lingbuzz/000951
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Published in: To appear in Proceedings of AFLA 16
keywords: backward control, ergativity, condition c, possessor raising, syntax
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