Definition of pseudo-cleft in English:

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pseudo-cleft

(also pseudo-cleft sentence)

noun

Grammar
A sentence which resembles a cleft sentence by conveying emphasis or politeness through the use of a relative clause, such as what we want is money representing we want money.
Example sentences
  • Apparent examples of wh-movement are pseudoclefts in which the initial wh-phrase is a predicate and the following material is a headless relative clause in subject position.
  • Higgins (1973) distinguished predicational and specificational pseudoclefts, and showed that, unlike predicational pseudoclefts, specificational pseudoclefts exhibit a variety of syntactic and semantic connectivity effects, i.e. the post-copular phrase behaves in some ways as if it ‘sits’ inside the free relative subject.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pseudo-cleft

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