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An Analysis of It-Cleft Constructions

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Yoon, JungJoo

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Department of English Language and Literature, Seoul National University
SNU Working Papers in English Language and Linguistics, Vol.1, pp. 142-160
HPSGit-cleft constructionsCLEstrong and weak UDCcopula befocuscleft clauses
The main purpose of this paper is to investigate it-cleft constructions in English and propose a non-derivational, lexicalist analysis of the constructions within the framework of HPSG. Based on Pollard & Sag's (1994) classification of strong and weak UDCs, I argue that there are two types of cleft clauses in it-cleft constructions, i.e., wh-cleft-clause and bare-cleft-clause, which have properties of strong UDCs and weak UDCs, respectively. In this paper, the two types of it-cleft constructions are accounted for by positing two different lexical entries of becleft. It-cleft constructions containing wh-cleft-clause, which have not been dealt with in the previous HPSG analyses, are analyzed by introducing a new feature CLE to distinguish wh-cleft clauses from other types of clauses. I propose that in the lexical entry of becleft for wh-cleft-clause, the CLE value has the same index as the focused phrase whereas in the lexical entry of becleft for bare-cleft-clause, the focused element and the SLASH value have the same index.
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