The English it-cleft : a constructional account and a diachronic investigation / by Amanda L. Patten.

Patten, Amanda L. author.
Berlin ; Boston : De Gruyter Mouton, [2012]
ix, 269 pages ; 24 cm.
Topics in English linguistics ; 79.
Topics in English linguistics, 1434-3452 ; 79

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It (The English word).
English language -- Word order.
English language -- Syntax.
Introduction and background. An outline of the project ; An overview of the literature on cleft sentences; The expletive approach; The extraposition approach ; A constructional approach to it-clefts ; A diachronic approach to it-clefts ; Methodology
A model of language structure and language change. Some basic assumptions ; A constructional model of language structure ; A constructional model of language change ; The application to it-clefts and copular constructions
Specificational copular constructions. Different and competing analyses; The equative approach; The inverse approach; A less formal approach ; Specification as (the inverse of) nominal predication; Specification and definite NP predicates; Specification and inversion; Capturing this account in cognitive and constructional frameworks ; Accounting for the behaviour of indefinite NPs; Specification and indefinite NP predicates; An account based on discourse requirements; An account based on definiteness ; Summarizing and extending the account; An overview of specificational NP be NP sentences; Positioning this account in relation to the literature; Other specificational copular constructions: Th-clefts as specificational copular sentences: Wh-clefts as specificational copular sentences: All-clefts as specificational copular sentences: A family of specificational copular sentences
It-clefts as specificational copular sentences. The English it-cleft; A "discontinuous constituent" account of it-clefts; Explaining the it-cleff's pragmatic properties: Focus: Presupposition: Exhaustiveness: Contrast; Explaining the it-cleff's structural properties: The behaviour of the cleft clause: The evidence for VP constituency: The evidence from agreement; Interim summary ; A comparison with expletive accounts of it-clefts ; A comparison with other extraposition accounts of it-clefts; The early extraposition accounts of the 1970s; The more recent discontinuous constituent accounts; A different extraposition account? ; A comparison with other constructional accounts of it-clefts
Other varieties of it-cleft. Beyond the archetypal it-cleft ; Predicational (and proverbial) it-clefts; An expletive approach to predicational it-clefts; Predicational it-clefts and the inverse approach; Predicational it-clefts and the equative approach ; It-clefts with non-nominal foci ; Informative-presupposition (IP) it-clefts ; Summary
The it-cleft and earlier periods of English. Beyond the present-day language system ; The early history of the English it-cleft ; A restrictively modified pronoun? ; An obligatorily extraposed relative clause? ; An unusual pattern of agreement? ; The evidence from Old English gender agreement ; The it-cleft as a relic from an earlier time ; Summary
The it-cleft's development over time. A diachronic investigation ; The corpora, the search and the selection process; OE presentational/impersonal sentences; Existential sentences with it; The pattern I it am; Other constructions mistaken for clefts; Interim summary ; Frequency information ; Changes to the clefted constituent ; Changes to the cleft clause ; Summary
The it-cleft and constructional change. The two kinds of constructional change ; A grammatical constructionalization account ; Some alternative explanations; An impersonal account; A Celtic account; A word order account; Interim summary ; Why do it-clefts undergo a construction-specific development?; Whv do it-clefts develop a construction-specific range of foci?; Whv do it-clefts develop construetion-speeific discourse funetions?; Summary
Conclusions. Corpora and data sources ; References ; Index.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 249-265) and index.