Jutta M. Hartmann (Tübingen University)

It-clefts: Syntax and Information Structure




In this talk, I argue for a syntactic analysis of it-clefts in which (i) the clefted constituent is the underlying subject of a predication configuration, i.e. the specifier of PrP in the sense of Bowers (1993). (ii) 'it' and the cleft clause are the underlying predicate, i.e. the complement of PrP. The nature of the relationship between 'it' and the cleft clause will be made precise in the talk.  I hypothesize that this analysis allows for a transparent mapping of syntactic structure onto information structure with the subject being mapped onto focus and the cleft clause onto background. I explore the potential implementation and consequences of such an analysis.