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The historical development of the <i>it</i>-cleft

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Abstract

This chapter compares two approaches to a particular grammatical change. While Ball (1991, 1994) investigates the development of the <i>it</i>-cleft configuration from within the generative tradition of the 1990s, I have recently re-examined the historical <i>it</i>-cleft data from a constructional perspective (see Patten 2010, 2012). In this chapter, I show how our different theoretical assumptions lead us to categorize and analyse the data differently. I conclude that a constructional approach is better at interpreting the diachronic facts.

References

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