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Adverbial cleft sentences in Italian, French and English. A comparative perspective

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Contribution to book (peer-reviewed)
Author De Cesare Anna-Maria, Garassino Davide,
Project Italian Sentence Adverbs in a Contrastive Perspective (ISAaC)
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Contribution to book (peer-reviewed)

Book Focus Realization and Interpretation in Romance and Beyond
Editor , García García Marco & Uth Melanie
Publisher John Benjamins, Amsterdam-Philadelphia
Page(s) 255 - 285
Title of proceedings Focus Realization and Interpretation in Romance and Beyond


The aim of this paper is to offer a multi-layered analysis of adverbial clefts in Italian, French, and English. In particular, we intend to offer a corpus-based study of the syntactic category of the cleft constituent, its semantic type and, finally, the information structure of adverbial clefts. In the first part of our contribution, after defining the concept of adverbial, we discuss which categories of adverbials can (or cannot) be clefted. In the second part, we cast light on the similarities and differences between the three languages. The main cross-linguistic similarities concern the semantic type of cleft adverbials, whereas the most significant differences lie in information structure. Finally, we will relate our empirical findings to the ongoing theoretical discussion on the semantics (and pragmatics) of adverbial clefts.