Getting PRO under Control investigates the nature and distribution of unexpressed subjects (PRO) in non-finite and verbless clauses within a generative framework. Various earlier analyses of PRO are critically discussed. The author provides a uniform characterization of all occurrences of PRO, defending the thesis that PRO is an empty pronoun.
Concentrating on data from Dutch and English, but including data from other languages whenever appropriate, the dissertation shows that the local domain for PRO can be defined in such a way that even obligatorily controlled PRO is free within its local domain.
With respect to the syntactic visibility of PRO it is argued that PRO is formally licensed by structural nominative Case in the Specifier of the Tense projection in non-finite and verbless clauses.
IT is argued that the need for content-identification of empty pronouns induces obligatory control for PRO in constructions where PRO cannot be minimally identified for content by morphology. For other cases of obligatory control, the author shows that the interpretation is often the same for lexical pronominal subjects alike depends heavily on semantic properties of both the matrix clause and the embedded clause, as expected under a pronominal analysis of PRO.
This dissertation includes case-studies on permissive and causative laten ‘let/have’ in Dutch and on control shift phenomena in deontic modal and infinitival relative environments.
The book is interest to a general syntactic and semantic readership.