On the Syntax of the Russian Control Verbs Pomoč’ ‘Help’ and Pomešat’ ‘Hinder’



object control, argument structure, ditransitive, applicative, adjunct control, implicit arguments


This paper examines sentences with the verbs pomoč′ ‘help’ and pomešat′ ‘hinder’ in Russian and demonstrates that, although they are usually listed among object control predicates, these verbs appear in a wide range of constructions that cannot be accounted for by a straightforward control analysis. To explain the distribution of pomoč′ and pomešat′, I argue that they are, in essence, ditransitive, similarly to ‘give’ or ‘send’: they require a Goal (a person or a situation that will be helped/hindered) and a Theme headed by a silent noun HELP/HINDRANCE. A dative DP, either [+sentient] or eventive, a subjunctive čtoby-clause, or a non-finite clause with an overt subject, when present, should be analyzed as a Goal. A controlled infinitival clause is merged as a modifier within the Theme NP. The approach is extended to control collocations such as ‘give a chance’. It further offers an opportunity to develop a uniform structural representation for various verbs of object control that will reduce the differences between them to particular properties of the Theme.



How to Cite

Burukina, I. “On the Syntax of the Russian Control Verbs Pomoč’ ‘Help’ and Pomešat’ ‘Hinder’”. Journal of Slavic Linguistics, vol. 30, no. 2, Sept. 2023, pp. 157-94, https://ojs.ung.si/index.php/JSL/article/view/29.