Some theoretical issues in Japanese control

Tomohiro Fujii

The aim of this thesis is to contribute to the understanding of the nature of finiteness and A-movement by looking at control phenomena in Japanese, where verbal morphology sometimes does not help to identify finiteness of clauses. In so doing, the thesis addresses empirical and theoretical questions that arise from analyses of Japanese control and attempts to resolve them. The first part of the thesis, chapter 2, investigates obligatory control (OC) into tensed clauses, where embedded predicates are morphosyntactically marked for tense. Recent findings about the obligatory control/non-obligatory control dichotomy leads to the observation that tensed subordinate clauses that either cannot support past tense or present tense trigger OC and raising. It is proposed that this effect comes from the defective nature of T of such clauses and that this nonfinite T triggers OC and raising. It is shown then that the movement theory of control facilitates to instantiate this proposal and to give a principled account of a wide range of the data. Chapter 3 concerns issues of controller choice with special reference to embedded mood constructions, where mood markers are overtly realized. It is observed that controller choice is systematically correlated with the mood interpretation of complement clauses. While Japanese allows split control in the exhortative mood construction, the language lacks the mood maker that should exist if subject control over intervening objects were possible. The lack of the nonexistent mood marker is derived by the Principle of Minimal Distance. Also, a preliminary movement-based analysis is given to the actual distribution of split control. The final chapter aims to provide an empirical argument for selecting a movement theory of control over PRO-based theories by closely examining backward control and related constructions. While establishing that backward obligatory control exists in Japanese, the chapter shows that the data argue for a copy theory of movement, combined with a particular theory of chain linearization. The hypothesis that economy plays a crucial role in determining how to pronounce chains is shown to explain properties of the classic Harada/Kuroda style analysis of Counter Equi.