Mechanisms of syntactic control in the Minimalist Program – Movement Theory of Control

Jarosław Aptacy

Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu


The article attempts to show that in line with the Minimalist Program, which is characterized
by significant methodological and derivational reductionism, it is possible to
abandon PRO as the phonetically empty subject of the infinitive clause. In its place, it is
proposed to interpret the relation between PRO and its coreferential phrase (“controller”)
as an argument movement. PRO may therefore be interpreted as an identical copy of the
NP, which determines its semantic interpretation. This approach simplifies modelling
grammar because an argument movement appears in grammars independently of control.
The first part of the article describes the most important phenomena related to syntactic
control from the general linguistic perspective, and then, using the example of Polish,
some derivations of typical structures with object and subject control are presented. Also,
possible problems that the Movement Theory of Control might face are pointed out.


syntactic control, infinitive, Movement Theory of Control, derivation

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Cited by

Aptacy, J. (2022). Mechanisms of syntactic control in the Minimalist Program – Movement Theory of Control. Prace Językoznawcze, 24(1), 39–54.

Jarosław Aptacy 
Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu


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