Clausal Integration and the Generation of IT-Cleft Construction

Kun Yang, Deng Liang


IT-cleft construction in English is an old but everlasting topic for researchers in linguistics. However, previous work on IT-cleft construction cannot adequately account for the link between the superordinate clause and the subordinate clause in IT--cleft construction. This paper discusses generation of the typical IT-cleft construction (i.e. NP-highlighted IT-cleft construction) with the apparatus of Clausal Integration Hypothesis. Following this hypothesis, the NP-highlighted IT-cleft construction consists of a superordinate clause and a subordinate clause wherein the NP highlighted constituent as new information represents an answer to the embedded question in the subordinate clause (the question may not physically appear). The superordinate clause phonetically and semantically inherits characteristics of the answer in the question-answer pair while the subordinate clause, which is known as a “relativized question”, inherits characteristics of the question in the question-answer pair.

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International Journal of Linguistics  ISSN 1948-5425  Email:

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