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(Pseudo)clefts at the syntax-prosody-discourse interface

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Abstract

This paper proposes an interface approach to (pseudo)cleft constructions, in which their semantic, syntactic, discourse and intonational properties are examined in a cross-linguistic perspective. Following most influential studies, the relevant constructions are analyzed as specificational copular sentences, in which the two major constituents – a (free) relative DP and the (to be) focused phrase – are merged in a SC structure. However, based on formal evidence and discourse considerations, we take the clefted constituent to be merged as the predicate of the relevant construction, thus departing from the general view. Finally, (pseudo)clefts are also shown to imply a Topic strategy. This proposal is substantiated by intonational investigation, showing a crucial correlation between tonal events and the information-structural articulation activated by clefting. Keywords: Focus; interface; (pseudo)clefts; specificational copular sentences; (different types of) Topic(s)

References

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