Perlmutter claimed (Perlmutter, 1968) that the like subject constraint in English is a deep structure constraint. Apart from being a contribution to a theory of filtering devices in natural languages, this claim is of interest because it is based on the assignment of abstract deep structures containing causal clauses which do not appear in surface structure. For example, Perlmutter proposed deriving the sentence:
(1) ( = (7)) I tried to be arrested.
from the deep structures:
rather than from the more conservative:
(3) ( = (9)) I tried [Pro arrest I]
Like other proposed abstract deep structures, (2) brings out the meaning of the sentence; it predicts paraphrase relations between (1) and the sentences:
Perlmutter presented independent evidence for this analysis, but he also used it to explain away what would otherwise have been counterexample to the claim that the like subject constraint holds over deep structures (the ‘deep subject hypothesis’).