From Glottopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

In Chomskyan syntax, PRO (also called big PRO, to distinguish it from pro in speech) is a null noun phrase that occurs in a position where it does not get case (or gets null case). PRO's meaning is determined by control.


PRO is posited in particular for the notional subject of infinitives:

  • Masha asked Jaime [PRO to help her].


PRO was introduced by Chomsky 1981.


  • Chomsky, Noam. 1981. Lectures in Government and Binding. Dordrecht: Foris.
  • Vanden Wyngaerd, Guido. 1994. PRO-Legomena: Distribution and reference of infinitival subjects. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Other languages

German PRO (de)