Structural Ambiguities of Russian Dative Infinitival Constructions


  • Anna Melnikova Stony Brook University


raising, control, dative case, selectional properties


This paper addresses the issue of control and raising properties in Russian dative modal constructions with the overt modal element of obligation/necessity nužno ‘need’. Using traditional syntactic tests to distinguish raising from control (Davies and Dubinsky 2008), I show that the subject of the lower clause under nužno can be either an overt DP (raising) or PRO controlled by the matrix subject, confirming the correlation between structural selection and interpretive possibilities. Similar to English ambiguous verbs (e.g., begin, threaten), the modal element nužno can participate in different syntactic structures. I ague that syntactic differences are attributed to the unspecified semantics of nužno, resulting in two possible interpretations of the same modal construction.




How to Cite

Melnikova, A. “Structural Ambiguities of Russian Dative Infinitival Constructions”. Journal of Slavic Linguistics, vol. 30, no. FASL 29 extra issue, Dec. 2022, pp. 1-11,



FASL proceedings 2020

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