Control (of reference)

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Control refers to the mechanism whereby an unexpressed notional subject, especially of a nonfinite verb such as an infinitive, gets its reference.


In a sentence like Masha asked Jorge to help him, the unexpressed subject of to help him is interpreted as being coreferential with the object Jorge. It is said to be controlled by the object noun phrase.


Control is also used for


In earlier transformational grammar, the term equi-NP deletion was often used for such constructions, but it implies a different analysis.



  • Manzini, Maria Rita. 1983. "On control and control theory." Linguistic Inquiry 14:421-446.

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