Andreas Pankau Replacing Copies : The Syntax of Wh - Copying in German This thesis is concerned with a peculiar extraction construction in German , called wh - copying . The peculiarity of this construction is that the fronted constituent seems to be repeated in all intermediate clause initial positions . This peculiarity is interesting from a theoretical point of view , as it raises a number of questions regarding the way extraction is implemented in the grammar . After an inspection of mainly new data from German , the thesis argues first that the term wh - copying is a misnomer . The apparent copies of the fronted constituent are actually independent elements , which however often happen to be homophonous to the fronted constituent . Secondly , it is shown that these independent elements are nevertheless subject to a number of matching constraints requiring partial identity between this element and the fronted constituent . The theoretical challenge posed by these two results is the tension between them . On the one hand , the repeated element is distinct from the fronted constituent ; on the other hand , it has to share some properties with it . The thesis then argues that this tension can be easily resolved if the Arc Pair Grammar framework is adopted . In particular , the way extraction is handled , the treatment of pronouns , and the representation of grammatical relations as syntactic primitives paves the way for a simple analysis of wh - copying in German .