Copy Raising Construction in English: A Usage-based Perspective

  • Received : 2012.10.07
  • Accepted : 2012.11.15
  • Published : 2012.12.31


In accounting for the so-called copy raising (CR) in English, the movement perspective has assumed that the embedded subject of the CR verb's sentential complement is raised to the matrix subject, leaving behind its pronominal copy. This kind of movement-based analysis raises both empirical and analytical issues, when considering variations in the pronominal copy constraint. This paper investigates the actual uses of the construction, using online-available corpora. Based on this corpus search, we classify two different types of copy raising predicates (genuine and perception), and discuss their grammatical properties in detail. We suggest that the simple copying rule couched upon movement operations is not enough to capture great variations in the uses of the construction, and show that interpretive constraints, e.g., perceptual characterization condition, play an important role in licensing the construction.