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Information Structure of It-clefts

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Authors
Park, SoonYoung
Issue Date
2003
Publisher
Department of English Language and Literature, Seoul National University
Citation
SNU Working Papers in English Language and Linguistics, Vol.2, pp. 41-60
Keywords
it-cleftsinformation structurefocuspresuppositionshared knowledgeassertionnonassertion
Abstract
It has been generally accepted that it-cleftsserve to cleave information into focus and presupposition, which is based on the assumption that new information is focused and old information or shared knowledge is presupposed. However, a number of examples show that new information can also be presupposed in it-clefts. It means that approaches based on the distinction between focus and presupposition are too restricted to explain information packaging of it-clefts and that the shared knowledge view of presupposition needs to be reconsidered. In this papers, I depart from the shared knowledge view of presupposition and instead resort to Delin (1995) and Abbott (2000) who claim that what is presupposed in it-clefts is a nonasserted proposition and try to explain information packaging of it-clefts in terms of the distinction between assertion and nonassertion. Furthermore, I will show that nonassertion view of presupposition can explain the three discourse functions of it-clefts, i.e., specification, thematization, and stativization.
Language
English
URI
https://hdl.handle.net/10371/2022
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College of Humanities (인문대학)English Language and Literature (영어영문학과)SNU Working Papers in English Language and LinguisticsSNU Working Papers in English Language and Linguistics Vol.02 (2003)
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