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Linguistic Inquiry

Summer 1999, Vol. 30, No. 3, Pages 365-397
(doi: 10.1162/002438999554110)
© 1999 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Pseudocleft Connectedness: Implications for the LF Interface Level
Article PDF (135.2 KB)

Pseudoclefts constitute a difficult challenge for linguistic theory, displaying effects of core syntactic conditions in a noncanonical configuration that cannot be normalized with standard syntactic operations. We argue that these “connectedness” effects follow from the nature of pseudoclefts as equatives. This treatment yields an integrated account of the syntactic and semanticopragmatic properties of the construction, but leads to the conclusion that certain syntactic constraints apply to a level of representation more abstract than LF under most current conceptions. This representation is built up in the process of discourse interpretation and may constitute the interface with the conceptual-intentional system of mind.