Penser les langues avec Claire Blanche-Benveniste. pages:127-139
The prosodic properties of clefts, illustrated by examples from speech corpora, justify a distinction between two types of clefts, with distinct information structures. In the first type, the left part of the cleft carries an intonation contour producing a terminal boundary, and the right part (the “relative clause”) has a flat and low pitch intonation contour, creating an interpretation of background information. In the second type of cleft, all of the construction contains stressed elements, interpreted as new or relevant information. The situation is analogous for interrogative clefts, except that in the first type le terminal contour is replaced by a non terminal one, ending on a high pitch level, and that the flat contour of the right part is also at a high pitch level.