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  • 1 Guangzhou and The Chinese University of Hong Kong Guangdong University of Foreign Studies Hong Kong China
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In this paper we argue that Mandarin VdeO focus clefts (e.g., Tā shì zuò huŏchē qù de Běijīng ‘It was by train that he went to Beijing’ and Shì tā zuò huŏchē qù de Běijīng ‘It was he who went to Beijing by train’) originate from bi-clausal copulative constructions in Early Modern Chinese with the interaction between particular word order (SVO order, but the relative clause before the head noun) and the adjacency effect commonly observed in the focus clefts of SVO languages. The adjacency effect is locally constrained by the presupposition effect of the particular relative clause to produce a special head-noun focus cleft in Mandarin (Tā shì qù de Běijīng ‘It was Beijing that he went to’). The past time meaning, the negation restriction, and the TAM (tense, aspect, and modality) restrictions that Mandarin VdeO focus clefts exhibit all come from the syntactic requirement that O in a Mandarin VdeO focus cleft should be specific in reference.

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Editors

Editor(s)-in-Chief: Katalin É. Kiss,
Ferenc Kiefer

Editor: Éva Dékány

Technical Editor: Zoltán G. Kiss

Review Editor: Beáta Gyuris

Editorial Board

  • Anne Abeillé
  • Željko Bošković
  • Marcel den Dikken
  • Hans-Martin Gärtner
  • Elly van Gelderen
  • Anders Holmberg
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  • István Kenesei
  • Anikó Lipták
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  • Irina Sekerina
  • Péter Siptár
  • Gregory Stump
  • Peter Svenonius
  • Anne Tamm
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  • Jeroen van de Weijer

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Acta Linguistica Hungarica
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