1887
Volume 12, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139
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Abstract

This paper reports findings from a study of clefts and pseudo-clefts in two standard corpora of English, one spoken and one written. The distributional patterns of the constructions across the various genres of the two corpora are explored, and explanations offered in terms of their distinctive communicative functions. Pseudo-clefts, which were considerably more popular in the spoken genres than in the written, attach special status to given information, presented in the form of a subordinate clause which is at the same time presupposed and, in the unmarked construction, thematic. Clefts, which were marginally more frequent in the written genres, are oriented towards newness. In both unmarked clefts and one type of marked cleft new information is highlighted via thematic predication.

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1989-01-01
2019-10-20
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