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

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By Peter C. Collins

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

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For this reason text categories were organized into several broader groupings. 3), is primarily field-based, relating mainly to the actuality or otherwise of the content of the text. The validity of this distinction is confirmed by the findings of Biber (1985,1986) in a corpus-based study using factor analysis (see further below), showing that the fiction versus non-fiction opposition is a significant discriminator of text-types. (ii) Tenor Tenor—the relationship that the speaker has with the addressee—has been subclassified by Martin (1984a:27) into the dimensions of ‘status’, ‘affect’ and ‘contact’.

That these examples are in fact clefts rather than structures deriving from extraposition of the nominal clause requires some justification. Unfortunately, convincing evidence is difficult to find. ’, *‘That we’d have been able to help her to see may well have been’). Of course not every such example does have a non-cleft counterpart. For example the non-cleft version of (30) (30) it may be that a frontal view will be more effective in certain circumstances (LOB E10,92–3) is the ungrammatical *‘A frontal view may will be more effective in certain circumstances’.

The youths on bikes are a vicious gang. b. A vicious gang are the youths on bikes. (33) a. The youths on bikes are the local gang. b. The local gang is the youths on bikes. The sentences in (32) are attributive, with a property being ascribed to the subject, the youths on bikes, in both cases. The difference between them is merely thematic: (32b) displays fronting of the complement, a vicious gang, and displacement of the subject to post-verbal position. The sentences in (33) are identifying, with the local gang (assuming that gang is stressed in both cases) serving to define the identity of the youths on bikes.

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