English VP-preposing allows VP modifiers to remain on the right (John said he would arrive on Tuesday, and arrive he did, on Tuesday). The classic analysis of this invokes VP constituency, claiming that the modifiers are right-adjoined to VP and stranded by movement of a smaller VP ([VP arrive] he did [VP [VP arrive] on Tuesday]). This article proposes a radically different view based on the copy theory of movement (Chomsky 1993), wherein moved items leave a copy in their site of origin. I propose that VP-preposing always involves movement of the maximal VP with possible/impossible argument/modifier “strandings” representing possible/impossible pronunciations of the original copy. This proposal allows a straightforward analysis of “paradox” examples in which VP-preposing constituency appears to clash with c-command requirements. It also raises the possibility of eliminating adjunction entirely in the analysis of modifiers.

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