SYNTAX: the phenomenon that the understood (PRO) subject of an infinitival clause must be anaphorically dependent on a specific argument of the matrix clause. EXAMPLE: in (i), the understood subject of to leave must be John; in (ii), it is Susan. The case in (i) is called 'subject control' (the so-called controller John is a subject), the case in (ii) 'object control' (Susan is an indirect object). See Control Theory.
(i) John promised Susan to leave (ii) John persuaded Susan to leave
MORPHOLOGY: a mechanism introduced in DiSciullo & Williams (1987) which
assigns a special linkage between the argument of an affix and a position in the verb's argument structure, thereby preventing that argument from being realized syntactically.
EXAMPLE: the argument structure of the English verb employ consists of two arguments (viz. AGENT and THEME). If the suffix -er is added to this verb, the resulting noun employer is an AGENT, and in John's employer, John cannot realize that argument. On the other hand, if the suffix -ee is added to this verb the resulting noun employee is a THEME, and in the NP John's employee, the noun John cannot express the THEME role. DiSciullo & Williams account for the difference between -er and -ee by assuming that the suffix -er controls the external argument (= AGENT role) of the verb employ, while -ee controls its internal argument (= THEME role). In both cases, the controlled argument cannot be expressed in syntax.
|LIT.||Chomsky, N. (1981)|
Di Sciullo, A. M. and E. Williams (1987)
Spencer, A. (1991)