Chapter published in:Non-canonical Control in a Cross-linguistic Perspective
Edited by Anne Mucha, Jutta M. Hartmann and Beata Trawiński
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 270] 2021
► pp. 83–106
Agent control in passives in Romanian
We examine control by the external argument of passives in Romanian. As copular passives generally disallow clausal subjects, this issue only concerns reflexive-based passives (so-called ‘se-passives’). Although it is difficult to find unequivocal control instances in Romanian due to the gradual replacement of infinitives by subjunctives and the nominative-licensing potential of infinitives, there are some verbs for which control can be assumed (aspectuals and ability modals). These verbs allow se-passives, but in this case se must be repeated on the infinitive or subjunctive complement. We argue that this does not represent voice agreement under restructuring, but rather an instance of control, involving matching between the external arguments of the matrix and the embedded se-verbs, for which we propose generation in an argument position, SpecVoiceP. Romanian ‘se-passives’ are analyzed as a construction halfway between actives and passives, having a nominative theme (with which T agrees) but also a projected external argument.
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