Publication details [#64659]

Lahousse, Karen and Lena Karssenberg. 2018. The information structure of French il y a clefts and c’est clefts: A corpus-based analysis. Linguistics 56 (3) : 513–548.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher
De Gruyter


This paper explores the distributional and information structural (IS) attributes of il y a ‘there is’ clefts in comparison with c’est ‘it is’ clefts in French. Albeit c’est and il y a clefts can both express all-focus and focus-background, they diverge as to the topic-comment articulation and have specialized for distinct functions. Divers syntactic and pragmatic factors are proposed that may account for the (distributive) discrepancies between the two cleft types, e.g., the impossibility of non-(pro)nominal clefted components in il y a clefts, genre discrepancies, and exhaustivity implication.