Linguistics and Literature Studies Vol. 4(3), pp. 188 - 202
DOI: 10.13189/lls.2016.040303
Reprint (PDF) (793Kb)

Two Types of Object Control in Saisiyat: A Movement-based Approach

Yi-ming Marc Chou *
Graduate Institute of Linguistics, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan


This paper analyzes the syntactic characteristics and the derivation of object control construction (OC) in Saisiyat. Saisiyat possesses two types of object control: in the canonical case, the controller occupies a structurally higher position than the controllee, while in the non-canonical case, the controller occupies a structurally lower position. We argue that the syntactic behaviours in Saisiyat, including the selection of voice, case-marking mechanisms, and subject-verb agreement, are closely related to hierarchical structures. The structure of the embedded clause in Saisiyat OC is a defective TP. This ‘weak' TP cannot normally value case and govern argument. Also, it exhibits the [-Tense] feature. These two types of OC exhibit the characteristics of split-ergativity: Canonical object control strictly employs the Accusative-pattern, while non-canonical object control strictly utilizes the Ergative-pattern. We assert that the non-canonical structure employs an additional syntactic projection of Applicative Phrase in its embedded clause, which makes it syntactically different from the canonical counterpart. Based on Potsdam's[27] research on Malagasy, we propose that two types of OC are formed through argument movement and deletion in the fashion of Hornstein's[14] Movement Theory of Control and Nunes' [23] chain reduction principle. These configurations can account for why in Saisiyat the shared argument of OC occupies dual theta roles. However, unlike Potsdam's argument, we contend that the inadequacy of the base-generated approach is attributed to the theoretical nature of PRO/pro, which is incompatible with OC, rather than the effect of locality. Finally, in order to comply with the 'Last resort' and the 'Greed principle' under the Minimalist Program, we further contend that the copy movement is triggered by the checking of both formal features (e.g., phi-feature and EPP) and uninterpreted features (e.g., case and tense).

Object Control, Movement, Agreement, Feature Checking, Syntax-semantic Interface, Saisiyat

Cite This Paper in IEEE or APA Citation Styles
(a). IEEE Format:
[1] Yi-ming Marc Chou , "Two Types of Object Control in Saisiyat: A Movement-based Approach," Linguistics and Literature Studies, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 188 - 202, 2016. DOI: 10.13189/lls.2016.040303.

(b). APA Format:
Yi-ming Marc Chou (2016). Two Types of Object Control in Saisiyat: A Movement-based Approach. Linguistics and Literature Studies, 4(3), 188 - 202. DOI: 10.13189/lls.2016.040303.