I have a question about empty category PRO. I'd like to know if PRO is always bearing the same case as its controller, or not?

Are there any lingusitics laws that clames such a thing?

Many Thanks for all answers!

  • 2
    This is a question that depends on what the theoretician presupposed. Since empty category PRO is a non-terminal and therefore does not actually occur in speech, the identity of its case -- or whether it has any at all -- is entirely theoretical, and can be presupposed in any way that the theory constructor fancies. That's why there isn't a definitive answer; there are lots of different theories.
    – jlawler
    Jul 18 '16 at 16:16

My dissertation of the loss of infinitival complementation in Greek deals with this issue; in Greek syntax there is a process called case attraction. Case attraction also occurs in Icelandic, Hindi, Korean... so I mention these in the discussion. I examined Government-Binding (obviously for PRO) as well as Lexical-Functional Grammar and Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar, looking at how well they could explain the synchronic variability and the diachronic patterns related to the variations. So I agree with Professor Lawler's comments that the theory really makes a difference here; in my dissertation, all of the theories had to explain how PRO became pro in Greek. Carole Chaski Syntactic Theories and Models of Syntactic Change: A Study of Greek Infinitival Complementation. Brown University PhD '87

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