Against the matrix left peripheral analysis of English <i>it</i>-clefts

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In the wake of the proposals for the articulated left periphery (Rizzi 1997), Meinunger (1997, 1998), Frascarelli &#38; Ramaglia (2009, 2013) and Sleeman (2011) assign to <i>it</i>-clefts a representation modeled on that of <i>wh</i>-interrogatives and of focus fronting. This paper first outlines one precise cartographic implementation of this analysis and then it is shown that such an analysis presents a number of problems of implementation, which concern the external and internal syntax of <i>it</i>-clefts. Distributionally, <i>it</i>-clefts are shown to pattern differently from sentences with focus fronting. Moreover the monoclausal analysis raises problems of implementation, in particular given that the cleft focus can itself undergo focus fronting and <i>wh</i>-movement.


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