Up to very recently, there had been a more or less uncontroversial view that control phenomena should be analyzed in terms of special grammatical primitives (e.g., PRO) and construction-specific interpretive systems (e.g., the control module). In this chapter, we examine how this conception of control was instantiated in the standard-theory framework (section 2.3), in GB (section 2.4), and in non-movement analyses within the minimalist program (section 2.5), briefly outlining what we take to be the virtues and problems of each approach. This discussion will provide the general background for us to discuss the core properties of (our version of) the MTC in Chapter 3 and evaluate its adequacy in the face of the general desiderata for grammatical downsizing explored in the minimalist program.
What any theory of control should account for
A theoretically sound approach to control – one that goes beyond the mere listing of the properties involved in control – must meet (at least) the following four requirements.
First, it must specify the kinds of control structures that are made available by UG and explain how and why they differ. Assuming, for instance, that obligatory control (OC) and non-obligatory control (NOC) are different, their differences should be reduced to more basic properties of the system.
Second, it must correctly describe the configurational properties of control, accounting for the positions that the controller and the controllee can occupy. In addition, it should provide an account as to why the controller and the controllee are so configured.