Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2009

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Davies, William D.

First Committee Member

Davison, Alice L.

Second Committee Member

Dubinsky, Stanley

Third Committee Member

Fagan, Sarah

Fourth Committee Member

Slabakova, Roumyana


This thesis explores finite control in Korean. An overview of the previous studies of control shows that the mainstream literature on control has consistently argued that referential dependence between an overt matrix argument and an embedded null subject is characteristic of non-finite clauses which contain a PRO subject. Moreover, although some evidence for finite control involving pro in several languages has been presented, a PRO analysis of finite control has been firmly established in the literature.

This thesis, however, argues that the currently established approach to Obligatory Control (OC), which is confined to PRO, cannot account for OC in Korean, and provides an empirical and theoretical analysis of finite control containing a pro subject in Korean. Although finite OC in Korean differs from non-finite OC in other languages in that the former can allow an overt NP coreferential with a matrix argument in the null subject position, finite OC in Korean displays the same properties of OC which are widely employed as the criteria for defining OC in non-finite clauses.

This thesis adopts the formal approach to finiteness in which finiteness is defined as an ability of licensing nominative subjects. However, reviewing the cross-linguistic data in the literature reveals that the feature determining finiteness should not be restricted to just Tense and Agreement, as the formal approaches have argued, and that languages may vary in determining finiteness. It also explores the relevance of Mood and Modality as the manifestation of finiteness in Korean. Based on this, this thesis argues for the CP status of finite OC in Korean and a pro analysis of the null subject in the constructions.

Through an investigation of six complementation types that have or have not been grouped under the types of control in the literature along with ninety matrix predicates which are classified into nine different categories based on their semantic class, this thesis further argues that OC in Korean cannot be explained by a solely syntax-based or semantically-based theory. OC in Korean is mainly the result of multiple semantic factors, but syntactic and pragmatic factors can also play a role in determining control.


Control, Finiteness, Korean, Semantics, Syntax


ix, 308 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 296-308).


Copyright 2009 Kum Young Lee

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