Cleft and Pseudo-Cleft Constructions in English (Theoretical by Peter C. Collins

By Peter C. Collins

Systematic research of the discourse-functions of clefts and pseudo-clefts, supplying details at the frequency of those buildings in several genres, and fighting the `tidying-up' present in examples devised through the linguist.

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Extra info for Cleft and Pseudo-Cleft Constructions in English (Theoretical Linguistics)

Example text

This will be somewhat further removed from language in action on radio than on TV since on TV the commentator and his audience can both see what is going on, but on radio only the commentator can. At a further remove from the action would be an interview with the players after the game. Then a report of the game in the paper the next day. This is leading on towards the reflective end of the scale, where action is reconstructed, rather than commented on. Next we might place a book about cricket in a given year.

The examples in (49) and (50) have a focal possessive item modifying the head noun. (49) Mrs X, the carpenter’s wife, died. There were two Mrs X’s in the village. Rumour at first reported the wrong one, at which Mr X, the carpenter, was deeply incensed. ‘It’s my wife wot’s died. Surely I ought to know,’ he said. (LOB G10,157) The head of the highlighted noun phrase is presupposed in each case, yielding the following paraphrases: ‘The wife wot’s died is mine’; ‘The Defining the class 43 credibility that’s in question is theirs’.

46) *it’s mainly a Larkish course that the course that we’re making. 18). One characteristic that clefts like (44) and (45) share with attributive sentences in general is that they admit comparison and modification of degree (whereas identifying sentences do not): (47) It is a rather more precise point which he makes. Further evidence is the possibility of substituting no for not a, permissible only if the negated noun phrase is attributive and not identifying. Compare the acceptability of (48a) and (48b): (48) a.

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