eesti teaduste
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The Yearbook of the Estonian Mother Tongue Society cover
The Yearbook of the Estonian Mother Tongue Society
Ebalohklause eesti keeles: ühest seni tähelepanuta jäänud lauseliigist; pp. 7–25
PDF | 10.3176/esa67.01

Marri Amon, Leelo Keevallik

This paper asks whether there are any pseudo-cleft structures in Estonian. Grammars do not account for them, but we found fitting examples from both spoken and written usage, in particular from public speeches. Functionally, they are similar to what has been described in other languages: what-initial constructions project longer explanations and launch new topics, thereby structuring discourse and (re-)engaging participants. Since studies on pseudo-clefts in spoken interaction have revealed a high degree of structural variability even in languages that make prolific use of them, such as French and Hebrew, we suggest that they are also grammaticized in Estonian.


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