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This page pertains to UD version 2.

csubj:cleft: relative clause modifier

Irish cleft constructions use a copula and are analysed in line with other copular construction: COP PRED SUBJ. In contrast to English, Irish clefts are much less restrictive with regards to the type of element that can be fronted: nouns, prepositional phrases, adverbial phrases, adjectives and verbal nouns. Note that the verbal particle that introduces csubj:cleft is always labelled mark:prt.

Examples

Nominal fronting

Is leabhar a thug sí dom ‘It is a book that she gave me’

Is leabhar a thug sí dom \n is book [] gave she to_me
csubj:cleft(leabhar, thug)
mark:prt(thug, a)
cop(leabhar, Is)

NOTE: Relative clauses may also be clefted. As shown below, the relative clause is raised to predicate level when it occurs in the predicate position in a copular phrase.

Is í Croinic Thomáis Eccleston is foinse do sheoladh na litreach seo `The Chronicle of Thomas Eccleston is the source of the sending of this letter’

ROOT Is í Croinic Thomáis Eccleston is foinse do sheoladh na litreach seo \n Is it(fem) Chronicle of_Thomas Eccleston []  source of sending of_the letter this
csubj:cleft(Croinic, foinse)
root(ROOT, Croinic)

Is é Michael D. Higgins ba chionsiocair leis an Roinn a bhunú sa bhliain 1992. `Michael D. Higgins was the driving force behind the establishment of the Department in 1992.

ROOT Is é Michael D Higgins ba chionsiocair leis an Roinn a bhunú sa bhliain 1992. \n ROOT Is it(masc) Michael D Higgins [] primary_cause with the Department to establish in_the year 1992.
root(ROOT, Michael)
csubj:cleft(Michael, chionsiocair)
csubj:cop(chionsiocair, bhunú)

Adverbial fronting

Is laistigh de bhliain a déanfar é ‘It is within a year that it will be done’

Is laistigh de bhliain a déanfar é \n is within a year [] will_be_done it
csubj:cleft(laistigh, déanfar)
mark:prt(déanfar, a)
cop(laistigh, Is)

Prepositional phrase fronting

Is sa pháirc a chonaic mé é `It is in the park that I saw him’

Is sa pháirc a chonaic mé é \n is in_the park [] saw I him
csubj:cleft(pháirc, chonaic)
mark:prt(chonaic, a)
cop(pháirc, Is)

Adjective predicate fronting

Is atá sí siúd ina ghá ná sinne anso. `She is needed here more than we are.’

Is mó atá sí siúd ina ghá ná sinne anso. \n Is more that_is she [emph] in_its need than us_[emph] here.
csubj:cleft(mó, atá)
cop(mó, Is)

NOTE: In phrases where the adjectival predicate is fronted, the noun should still be treated as the predicate with the adjective demoted to adjectival modifier dependent on that noun/the head of the noun phrase.

Is iomaí seift atá á lorg ag údaráis phoiblí ar fud an domhain… `Public authorities all over the world are looking for numerous ways to…’

Is iomaí seift atá á lorg ag údaráis phoiblí ar fud an domhain \n Is many trick that_are at_her looking by authorities pub on whole of_the world 
csubj:cleft(seift, atá)
cop(seift, Is)
amod(seift, iomaí)

NOTE

Sometimes it is difficult to determine whether to use the csubj:cleft label or the acl:relcl label for certain phrases. Here are a few steps to help determine which label to use.

  1. Check to see if it follows the copula-predicate-subject order-if so then it is likely to be a cleft.
  2. If the phrase is fronted for emphatic reasons then is is likely to be a cleft.
  3. Categorise by how it’s fronted (PP, NP, AdvP, AdjP)- if it is a fronted NP, then it is more likely to be either a relative clause or a cleft. If the NP consists of an augment pronoun and a noun it is a cleft. However, if the first noun is not an augment pronoun and is being equated with the second NP, then the second NP has an embedded relative clause.

Emphatic

Is ise a chuir Dick Spring i mbun na Roinne Oideachais ‘It is her who put Dick Spring in charge of the Department of Education’

Is ise a chuir Dick Spring i mbun na Roinne Oideachais
cleft(ise, chuir)

Augment Pronoun

Is í Máire a chuir Dick Spring i mbun na Roinne Oideachais ‘It is Máire who put Dick Spring in charge of the Department of Education’

Is í Máire a chuir Dick Spring i mbun na Roinne Oideachais
cleft(Máire, chuir)

Two noun phrases are being equated by the copula

Is ise an té a chuir Dick Spring i mbun na Roinne Oideachais ‘She is the person who put Dick Spring in charge of the Department of Education’

Is ise an té a chuir Dick Spring i mbun na Roinne Oideachais
acl:relcl(té, chuir)

csubj:cleft in other languages: [ga] [gd] [gv] [la]