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Some notes on clefting and fronting*

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Abstract

In this paper I test the predictions of a conjecture formulated in Belletti (2008), according to which the distinction between subject and non-subject clefts as answering strategies should not hold in languages in which information focus and contrastive focus are both realized in the left periphery of the sentence. I discuss the results of an experiment on Sicilian, specifically designed to test the acceptability of the cleft construction in relation to fronting. The analysis of the results confirms an interesting correlation between fronting and clefting, whereby languages resorting to FF as a generalized focus strategy only marginally admit clefts. At the same time, it endorses the necessity, at the basis of Belletti’s analysis, of distinguishing between subject and non-subject clefts.

References

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