Cleft Sentence


Cleft sentences are constructed to give prominence or focus to some element such as a noun, pronoun, or interrogative. In a cleft sentence, the focal element is the subject and the embedded clause is a predicate complement Cleft sentences involve the splitting of a simple clause into a focal element and an embedded clause, in this case a predicate complement, from which the focal element is extracted, in this case the subject. (Suttles, 2003, p. 110)


Example in the Halkomelem Context of a Cleft Sentence where wənáy ‘be only’ is the predicate, tə swéyəl ‘the daylight’ is the subject, and wəθəʔít x̌éʔx̌ə ‘(that) is truly holy’ is a predicate complement. (Suttles, 2003, p. 111)


Suttles, W. (2004). Musqueum reference grammar. UBC Press. SFU Student Access.