Malagasy Control and Its Theoretical Implications

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Malagasy Control and Its Theoretical Implications

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Title: Malagasy Control and Its Theoretical Implications
Author: Polinsky, Maria; Potsdam, Eric

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Citation: Polinsky, Maria and Eric Potsdam. 2004. Malagasy control and its theoretical implications. In Berkeley Linguistic Society Proceedings 30(1): 365-376.
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Abstract: Few syntactic phenomena have attracted as much attention as Control: a structure in which the overt subject of a dominating clause (the controller) determines the referential properties of an unpronounced subject of its complement clause (the controllee). More than thirty years of research, starting with Rosenbaum 1967, Postal 1970, and Bresnan 1972, have produced several interesting theories of Control and Raising (for a good summary of approaches, see Davies and Dubinsky 2004). At the same time, most studies of Control have built heavily on the facts of English and a small number of other well-studied languages. The goal of this paper is to investigate Control in Malagasy, an Austronesian language spoken in Madagascar that is significantly different from English. We will present and analyze three Subject Control constructions in Malagasy which may provide an argument in favor of a syntactic analysis of Control as movement (Hornstein 1999, 2003). The paper is structured as follows. Section 2 introduces basic facts of Malagasy grammar. Section 3 briefly surveys the contrasting syntactic approaches of Control that we consider. Sections 4 through 7 describe and analyze three different patterns of Control in Malagasy, using two of the patterns to argue for the movement analysis. Section 8 summarizes the results of this work.
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