Cyclic chain reduction

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Based on new evidence having to do with binding and reconstruction, this chapter argues that copy raising constructions in English such as <i>John seems like he is intelligent</i> are to be analyzed as involving A-movement of the subject of the embedded clause, coupled with pronunciation of the copy left in the embedded subject position as a resumptive of sorts. Using Chomsky&#39;s (2001a, b) phase-based framework, the paper shows that copy raising constructions constitute an argument for taking the PF operation that deletes copies of a chain to allow Linearization (Nunes&#39;s 2004 Chain Reduction) to apply in a cyclic fashion. More specifically, it is proposed that Chain Reduction marks for deletion all the non-highest copies that are visible to the operation when it applies. The domain that the operation affects is determined by the notion of the cycle, which is in turn characterized by the notion of phase. Thus, when the highest copy among those visible to the operation sits at the edge of a phase, it is not marked for deletion at that phase, but it can be deleted at the next higher cycle. By contrast, when the highest copy is not in the edge but somewhere inside the domain of the phase &#8211; as in the case of the copy in the embedded subject position of copy raising constructions &#8211;, it cannot be deleted even if further movement takes place, because the domain of the phase will have been spelled-out before Chain Reduction applies.


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