Speech Prosody 2002

Aix-en-Provence, France
April 11-13, 2002

What is Focused in C'est XP qui/que Cleft Sentences in French?

A. Rialland (1), Jenny Doetjes (2), G. Rebuschi (3)

(1) CNRS, UMR 7018/ILPGA, Université de Paris III, France
(2) UiL OTS, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
(3) ILPGA, Université de Paris III/CNRS, UMR 7107, France

Cleft sentences are generally viewed as a focus-related sentence type. Based on an analysis of prosody, it will be shown that there are clefts with other types of informational structure than focus/post-focus, whose existence raises the question of the role and meaning of cleft structures as a whole. It is proposed here that cleft structures do not impose a focus on the XP, but focus (or "zoom in") on the relationship between an XP (or part of an XP) and the relative clause (or "coda"), which is presupposed but not necessarily given.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Rialland, A. / Doetjes, Jenny / Rebuschi, G. (2002): "What is focused in c'est XP qui/que cleft sentences in French?", In SP-2002, 595-598.