Some notes on falloir, devoir, and the theory of control

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


This article sheds new light on the structure and meaning of sentences containing the French modal verbs devoir and falloir, as well as on the syntax and semantics of Control generally. Well-known and previously unnoticed empirical facts are examined that support the author's novel contention that falloir and devoir are syntactically and semantically ambiguous. These data are also argued to offer indirect support for the analysis of Control clauses recently developed in Reed (2014: Ch. 6 and 7), according to which there is a theoretical primitive (pro) and it is associated with a "minimal"feature bundle consisting of just [-expletive] and [+N] syntactic features, with a separate, post-syntactic Theory of Control determining its understood phi-features.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRomance Linguistics 2013. Selected papers from the 43rd Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages (LSRL), New York, 17�19 April, 2013
EditorsChristina Christina, Marcel Den Dikken, Ignacio L. Montoya, Teresa O'Neill
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9789027267689
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NameRomance Languages and Linguistic Theory
ISSN (Print)1574-552X

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics


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