The historical development of the it-cleft: A comparison of two different approaches

Amanda Patten

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This paper compares two approaches to a particular grammatical change. While Ball (1991, 1994) investigates the development of the it-cleft configuration from within the generative tradition of the 1990s, I have recently re-examined the historical it-cleft data from a constructional perspective (see Patten 2010, forthcoming). In this paper, I show how our different theoretical assumptions lead us to categorize and analyse the data differently. I conclude that a constructional approach is better at interpreting the diachronic facts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)548-575
JournalStudies in Language
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2012

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