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.
|Journal||Studies in Language|
|Publication status||Published - 14 Dec 2012|