Raising to object

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NP-movement from an embedded subject position to a c-commanding object position. This operation has been proposed in order to explain the fact that him in (i), although the subject of to have won, has the case-marking of a direct object.

(i) John believes himi [ti to have won]

The problem with this analysis is that an empty object position will have to be generated in order to provide a landing site for NP-movement. This is at odds with the Projection Principle and in conflict with Theta-theory. As a solution to this problem it has been proposed (e.g. in Chomsky 1991) that Raising-to-object is in fact movement to the specifier position in a functional AGRP. See Exceptional Case Marking. Soames & Perlmutter suggest that 'Raising to object' is merely a metaphor, and that in fact, the embedded clause in (iii) contains a pro-drop ( pro) subject.



  • Chomsky, N. 1991. Some Notes on Economy of Derivations and Derivations, in:R. Freidin (ed) Principles and Parameters in Comparative Grammar, 417-454, The MITT Press: Cambridge, Mass. Reprinted in: Chomsky (1995).
  • Chomsky, N. 1981. Lectures on Government and Binding, Foris, Dordrecht.
  • Koster, J. 1987. Domains and dynasties: The radical autonomy of syntax, Foris, Dordrecht.
  • Postal, P.M. 1974. On Raising. One Rule of English Grammar and its Theoretical Implications, The MIT Press: Cambridge, Mass.
  • Soames, S. & D.M. Perlmutter 1979. Syntactic Argumentation and the Structure of English, University of California Press:Berkely, Los Angeles, London