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Reviewed by:
  • Control and restructuring by Thomas Grano
  • Marcello Modesto
Control and restructuring. By Thomas Grano. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. Pp. xi, 243. ISBN 9780198703921. $110 (Hb).

This volume is a revised version of Thomas Grano’s doctoral dissertation from the University of Chicago. The book comprises six chapters, along with a brief introduction and a conclusion. The introduction lays out the main proposal: ‘that restructuring is cross-linguistically pervasive and that, in virtue of its co-occurrence with some control predicates but not others, it evidences a basic division within the class of complement control structures’ (1). The division between restructuring and nonrestructuring predicates is related (originally by Wurmbrand 1998) to whether a predicate allows partial control or only exhaustive control (in the sense of Landau 2000). G associates this correlation with other empirical splits in different languages (‘the distribution of finite complementation in English, the availability of overt embedded subjects, temporal properties of controlled complements, as well as phenomena found in Mandarin Chinese and Modern Greek’ (1)) and then adopts Cinque’s (1999, 2004) cartographic approach to clausal structure to explain all of them. By taking all exhaustive control predicates to be functional verbs in a Cinquean hierarchy (and so all restructuring structures to be monoclausal), G accounts for all of the facts just mentioned: only exhaustive control predicates cause restructuring, they do not allow [End Page 729] finite complementation or embedded subjects, and so forth. The gist of the analysis is shown in the trees below.





In trying to show how restructuring could apply to languages as diverse as Chinese and Greek (besides Romance, where restructuring is more evident), the book is an excellent exercise in linguistic theorizing, solidly based on empirical data, and it works out important semantic details. The book is therefore an important reference in the studies of control and complementation.

Ch. 2 lays out the proposal of exhaustive control as functional restructuring. As evidence, G provides four ways in which exhaustive control predicates differ from partial control ones: they do not take finite complementation (in English and Romance, at least), their complements do not license an overt subject, they sometimes do not entail anything about their subjects, and their complements are transparent for licensing polarity items. To explain these properties, G sides with Cinque (2004), taking all exhaustive control predicates to be realized as functional projections, which would mean that restructuring is obligatory with those verbs. Rigid ordering effects (Cinque 2006) are attested with exhaustive control predicates in many languages, so Cinque’s hypothesis is plausible. The monoclausal hypothesis for exhaustive control structures, assumed by G, clashes with observations by Landau (2013:69–78), who maintains that control complements are always clausal and always include PRO. Although Landau shows convincingly that some nonfinite complements are clausal, he does not in my opinion make a good case for exhaustive control complements. Landau’s chief arguments for biclausality in the context of exhaustive control complements are the presence of nonfinite ‘complementizers’ in several languages (G mentions Romance di/de/a; Landau mentions Dutch om and Hebrew me) and the form of complements in Balkan languages. G argues that, since clitic climbing may obtain even in the presence of a putative complementizer in Italian (apud; Napoli 1981:863–64), the complementizer analysis of such particles is wrong, and he assumes, with Cinque (2006:45), that those apparent complementizers are functional heads in the extended projection of VP. G then looks at English verbal morphosyntax (in particular the behavior of to in ellipsis) and argues that the position of to is still elusive. One problem for G’s analysis is the supposition that all exhaustive control verbs (including try and manage) are functional restructuring predicates (the subject, therefore, raising over them on its way to T); the problem is that try and manage do not seem to be raising predicates by most tests.

Ch. 3 solves the problem just mentioned by assuming that ‘exhaustive control predicates contain as part of their meaning a variable that must be bound in the syntax: when the subject raises, it obligatorily binds this variable, giving the predicate semantic access to the subject’ (43). The rationale behind...


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