# (raised) object or subordinate subject in catenative clauses

I have a question about objects/subjects in catenative clauses such as He told his daughter to tidy her room.

I’ve found two main kinds of analysis of clauses such as these – those where his daughter is considered an object in the superordinate clause, and those where it’s considered the subject of the embedded non-finite clause.

In a couple of comments to an answer at What are these Auxiliary-like verbs?, Bill J mentions the idea of a raised object, which somehow seems to indicate that his daughter can be simultaneously analysed as being an object in the superordinate clause (a raised object), and, at the same time, a subject in the non-finite subclause. Is this a correct understanding?

It seems very odd though... Any clarification would be much appreciated.

• What I said was: "... syntactically, "his cat" is the direct object of "told", but it's only the understood subject of "to leave". In catenative constructions, when we talk of an 'understood subject', we mean a semantic one not a syntactic one. The semantic subject of the subordinate is then the raised object of the matrix verb, as I explained. Commented Apr 14, 2018 at 16:12
• Does that clear things up, Hannah? Commented Apr 14, 2018 at 17:28
• Ah, ok – yes, I see now :) Thanks BillJ! So from a syntactic point of view we have Subject ("He") Verb ("told") Object ("his daughter") Catenative Complement ("to tidy her room")? So "his daughter" is not part of the catenative complement? Also, is it a direct or indirect object? There was a discussion about this as well, in the comments to the above mentioned post, but there wasn't really a definite solution to that discussion, I think... Commented Apr 14, 2018 at 18:16
• Yes, that's right. It's exactly the same analysis as "the cat" example. The intervening NP "his daughter" is the syntactic direct object of the matrix verb and the understood (semantic) subject of the subordinate clause. We can tell that "his daughter" is direct object of "told" from the fact that it can be made subject of the equivalent passive clause: "His daughter was told to tidy her room". Commented Apr 14, 2018 at 18:38