Russian verbs of order and permission: between obligatory control and ECM
Irina Burukina
February 2020

The paper presents and examines a previously undescribed puzzle concerning the syntactic distribution of Russian mandative verbs (velet’ ‘order’, razrešit’ ‘allow’) and non-verbal deontic modals: these predicates exhibit dual behavior as they embed non-finite clauses with either implicit obligatorily controlled (PRO) or overt referential (DP) subjects. The ambiguity holds for the same native speakers and no detectable difference in terms of the Tense – Agreement characteristics or the structural size can be found between infinitival constituents with PRO / DP subjects. To account for this phenomenon, I propose, first, to analyze mandative verbs as lexical realizations of a verb of communication that embeds a silent deontic modal head. The latter, in turn, takes a clausal proposition as its complement. Second, I demonstrate that the reported DP / PRO alternation is described by the following generalization: An embedded overt referential subject is allowed only when there is no potential dative DP controller available within a higher clause. In the spirit of the traditional Case theory, I argue that an embedded lexical subject must be Case licensed, and, since non-finite clauses are Case deficient, licensing may only be done by a higher (matrix) functional head, namely Appl0, which normally introduces an obligation Holder. Thus, matrix Holders and lexical embedded subjects end up competing to receive Case from the same functional head. Furthermore, I show that, as no subject-to-object raising happens, long-distance Case assignment proceeds over a CP boundary.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004468
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: This is a pre-revision version of the paper published in Glossa:
keywords: object control, ecm, mandative verbs, covert modality, russian, syntax, pro, dp/pro alternation, case
previous versions: v3 [July 2019]
v2 [January 2019]
v1 [January 2019]
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