Edited by Timothy Gupton and Elizabeth Gielau
[Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics 33] 2021
► pp. 17–40
While past literature on Haitian Creole focus structures primarily concentrates on predicate clefts (see DeGraff, 1995; Glaude & Zribi-Hertz, 2012; Harbour, 2008; Lefebvre, 1990), few authors use empirical data to justify proposed interpretations of clefts. In this paper, we empirically test which interpretations are available in se-clefts, expanding on previous work on clefts in Haitian Creole and other languages. Our first experiment investigates the influence of predicate gradability (Harbour, 2008) and syntactic structure (Glaude & Zribi-Hertz, 2012) on predicate cleft interpretation, using a felicity judgment task. Prior work on Haitian se-clefts has not discussed the exhaustive inference, an inference conveyed in similar clefts cross-linguistically (see Destruel et al., 2015; Horn, 1981). Our second experiment examines the exhaustivity inference in both predicate and nominal se-clefts, comparing Haitian speakers’ judgments to results from similar clefts in other languages, particularly French, via a forced-choice task adapted from Onea and Beaver (2011).
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