Speech Prosody 2002
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.
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.