Towards a comprehensive Construction Grammar account of control: A case study of Swedish infinitives

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Abstract:

Based on an extensive corpus study, this paper presents an overview of control patterns in Swedish infinitives and sketches a CxG account of the data. To capture the variety of control relations encountered, the approach combines elements of traditional CxG, Frame Semantics, and Sign-Based Construction Grammar. Three basic mechanisms are distinguished: control by selection, where the controlled element is coinstantiated with an argument of the selecting head; control by feature percolation, where the interpretation is determined by the syntactic and pragmatic context; and arbitrary "control", which is treated as non-control, where the understood subject argument is specified for generic or arbitrary reference and, hence, needs no controller. More specific control patterns, including such issues as control shift and pragmatic control, are treated as specific variants of these three basic types.

Keywords: CONSTRUCTION GRAMMAR; CONTROL; EXTERNAL ARGUMENT; FRAME; IMPLICIT SUBJECT; INFINITIVE; LOCALITY; SWEDISH; VALENCE

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/cf.1.2.01lyn

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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