The Syntax and Semantics of Wanting in Indonesian

DSpace/Manakin Repository

The Syntax and Semantics of Wanting in Indonesian

Citable link to this page


Title: The Syntax and Semantics of Wanting in Indonesian
Author: Polinsky, Maria; Potsdam, Eric

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Polinsky, Maria, and Eric Potsdam. 2008. The syntax and semantics of wanting in Indonesian. Lingua 118(10): 1617-1639.
Full Text & Related Files:
Abstract: The Indonesian verbs mau and ingin ‘want’ look like typical control verbs. When they are followed by a passive predicate however, an additional, unexpected interpretation arises. The sentence Siti mau/ingin di-cium oleh Ali means ‘Siti wants to be kissed by Ali’ but also ‘Ali wants to kiss Siti’. We call the latter interpretation Crossed Control (CC). In CC, the wanter is not the surface subject of ‘want’ but an oblique element in the complement clause and the surface subject is the theme of the embedded predicate and not an argument of ‘want’. For the syntax of CC, we reject clause union and backward control analyses and propose that ‘want’ in this construction is an auxiliary/raising verb that does not assign an external θ-role. We then propose that the control interpretation is encoded in the lexical semantics of the auxiliary. ‘Want’ takes a propositional argument but forces the volitional participant in this event to be construed as an experiencer of wanting. We hypothesize that this approach can be extended to volitional constructions in other languages.
Published Version:
Other Sources:
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at
Citable link to this page:
Downloads of this work:

Show full Dublin Core record

This item appears in the following Collection(s)


Search DASH

Advanced Search