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Hardcover | $53.00 Short | £44.95 | 128 pp. | 6 x 9 in | April 2015 | ISBN: 9780262028851
Paperback | $30.00 Short | £24.95 | 128 pp. | 6 x 9 in | April 2015 | ISBN: 9780262527361
eBook | $21.00 Short | May 2015 | ISBN: 9780262327244
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A Two-Tiered Theory of Control


This book revives and reinterprets a persistent intuition running through much of the classical work: that the unitary appearance of Obligatory Control into complements conceals an underlying duality of structure and mechanism. Idan Landau argues that control complements divide into two types: In attitude contexts, control is established by logophoric anchoring, while non-attitude contexts it boils down to predication. The distinction is also syntactically represented: Logophoric complements are constructed as a second tier above predicative complements.

The theory derives the obligatory de se reading of PRO as a special kind of de re attitude without ascribing any inherent feature to PRO. At the same time, it provides a principled explanation, based on feature transmission, for the agreement properties of PRO, which are stipulated on competing semantic accounts. Finally, it derives a striking universal asymmetry: the fact that agreement on the embedded verb blocks control in attitude contexts but not in non-attitude contexts.

This book is unique in being firmly grounded in both the formal semantic and the syntactic studies of control, offering an integrated view that will appeal to scholars in both areas. By bringing to bear current sophisticated grammatical analyses, it offers new insights into the classical problems of control theory.

About the Author

Idan Landau is Associate Professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Linguistics at Ben-Gurion University. He is the author of Elements of Control: Structure and Meaning in Infinitival Constructions, The Locative Syntax of Experiencers (MIT Press), and Control in Generative Grammar: A Research Companion.


“In this groundbreaking monograph, Idan Landau brings his unparalleled knowledge of the empirical domain of control to build a new typology that is equally responsive to syntactic and semantic aspects of the phenomenon. With insight and thoroughness, he proposes a novel theory that for the first time explains all the most important properties—some well-known, some newly discovered here—of obligatory control complements. This brilliant work will be the touchstone for research on control for years to come.”
Jason Merchant, Professor of Linguistics and Associate Dean of the Humanities, University of Chicago
“Landau has been the Master of Control for a while now but this time he has surpassed himself. We are treated to a rich array of data—many new, others known but seen from a new perspective. We are shown that Obligatory Control consists of two very different phenomena: predicative control and logophoric control, and that the many syntactic and semantic differences between the two mostly reduce to the derivation of the former relying on predication, and of the latter on variable binding. This is a very clever book and it is bound to be influential. The way it repartitions the known phenomena, the discoveries of new ones, and the analytical tools and combinations it suggests will certainly stimulate a lot of discussion and new research in the years to come.”
Sabine Iatridou, Professor of Linguistics, MIT