Control, logophorocity, and harmonic modality in Gengbe desire reports


  • Thomas Grano
  • Samson Lotven


With a special focus on jussive clauses, we present and account for a puzzling interaction between mood choice, embedding verb choice, and antecedent choice for logophoric subjects in attitude reports in Gengbe (a Niger-Congo language closely related to Ewe, spoken in southern Togo and Benin). The account draws on the property theory of control (Chierchia, 1984; Dowty, 1985), the property theory of imperatives (Portner, 2004), and the view that logophors abstract to yield derived properties (Pearson, 2015). Insofar as Gengbe jussive clauses are similar in distribution and function to Romance subjunctive clauses, a primary theoretical contribution of the paper is in showing that Portner’s property analysis of imperatives can be fruitfully extended to subjunctive clauses, thereby achieving a theoretical unification of sentence mood and verbal mood. We also a sketch a variant of the account couched in Kratzer’s (2013) decompositional approach to embedding, whereby jussive clauses in Gengbe desire reports instantiate harmonic modality.


How to Cite

Grano, T., & Lotven, S. (2019). Control, logophorocity, and harmonic modality in Gengbe desire reports. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 21(1), 481–498. Retrieved from