Semantic consequences of syntactic subject licensing: Aspectual predicates and concealed modality

  • Thomas Grano

Abstract

Across a typologically  diverse range of languages, aspectual verbs like begin and continue uniformly accept controlled complements (e.g., Kim began to open the door) but reject overt-subject complements (e.g., *Kim began for Sandy to open the door). This paper explains this pattern by assigning more meaning to the complement clause than is typically assumed, couched in Kratzer’s (2006) decompositional  approach to attitude predicates and drawing on a long tradition of work on the semantics of infinitives. In particular, I propose that the licensing of overt subjects in for-to complements (and their cross-linguistic kin such as Greek subjunctives) involves a covert modal whose flavor renders such complements semantically incompatible with aspectual verbs.
How to Cite
Grano, T. (1). Semantic consequences of syntactic subject licensing: Aspectual predicates and concealed modality. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 20, 306-322. https://doi.org/10.18148/sub/2016.v20i0.265