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Linguistic Inquiry

Spring 2002, Vol. 33, No. 2, Pages 245-282
(doi: 10.1162/002438902317406713)
© 2002 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Backward Control
Article PDF (163.8 KB)

This article documents and analyzes a pattern of backward subject control in the Nakh-Daghestanian language Tsez. In backward control two subject arguments are coindexed but it is the higher subject that is unpronounced: Δitried [Johni to leave]. The principles-and-parameters framework (Chomsky and Lasnik 1993) explicitly rules out backward control. In contrast, recent minimalist analyses of control (e.g., Hornstein 1999) permit backward control because they allow movement from one thematic position to another. Backward control results if this movement takes place covertly. We argue that the phenomenon thus provides interesting evidence for the reduction of control to movement.