Max Planck Institute
for Evolutionary Anthropology
Department of Linguistics

Typological tools for field linguistics


Questionnaire for Control Verbs

This questionnaire focuses on control structures that are instantiated by predicates that take a state of affairs (SOA) argument. Noonan (1985) has called these predicates 'complement-taking predicates'. The questionnaire uses the notion of SOAA-taking predicates (SOAA = state of affairs argument). Prototypically, complement control is instantiated by certain classes of verbs; however, adjectives (be eager to) and nouns (e.g. nominalizations such as promise) may function as control predicates as well. 'Control' refers to the pattern of argument identification between an argument of the SOAA-taking predicate and an argument of the SOAA-head. In the literature the notion of 'equi deletion' or 'equi-NP deletion' has been used (following Rosenbaum 1967), which refers to structures in which an overt argument of the matrix predicate is identified with a covert argument of the embedded predicate. This questionnaire aims at a cross-linguistic application of the notion of control and thus uses a semantic definition of complement control. It extends the notion of control to other patterns of referential dependency between arguments of a SOAA-taking predicate and of the embedded predicate. The questionnaire is accompanied by a detailed introduction and explanation.

The questionnaire
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Developed by
Barbara Stiebels