Gap set

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A gap set (. From English cleft sentence , French. Phrase clivée ) is obtained when a main clause in a construction of head - ( Kopulasatz ) and addition rate ( relative rate ) transformed is a noun phrase (NP) with a (contrastive) focus or to prove an emphasis .

Splitting sentences is a syntactic approach to focusing. But the procedure is not grammaticalized in every language, or only grammaticalized to a degree. Some languages, such as Latin , do not have such a procedure at all and German only rudimentarily. In the German language more passive constructions are used. The split sentence is very common in English, as well as in many Romance languages , although it is completely grammatical in French. The latter Romance language consequently follows this step of emphasizing individual sentence elements, while Italian , Spanish and Portuguese are still further options available.

Split sentence in German

The compound sentence consists of a main clause and a subordinate clause. By splitting sentences, a focus can be achieved. If Peter of the main clause is to become the focus expression - in the example below - then the extrafocal clause is broken out of the vase .

Split sentences can be built up in German according to the following patterns:

  1. Main clause ("es" + copula + NP) + relative clause
  2. Main clause (NP + copula + "es") + relative clause

Example: "Peter broke the vase."

  1. Split sentence: "It was Peter who broke the vase."
  2. Split sentence: "It was Peter who broke the vase."

To distinguish it from the slot sets are the pseudo gap sets (also:. Blocking sets, English pseudo-cleft sentences , French. Phrase pseudo clivée ), for example. B. “What Peter broke, (that) was the vase.” But here the focus is at the end, on the right-hand side, of the sentence.

Split clause in English

The English language is very rich in cleft constructions . Here are some typical examples:

  • It is split sentence : It is Jaime for whom we are looking.
  • Wh-Spaltsatz / Sperrsatz , pseudo-cleft sentences : What he wanted to buy was a Fiat.
  • Reversed wh- cleft / inverted locking rate : A Fiat is what he wanted to buy.
  • All split sentence : All he wanted to buy was a Fiat.
  • The following split sentence , inferential cleft : It is not that he loves her. It's just that he has a way with her that is different.
  • There clause : And then there's a new house he wanted to build.
  • If-because split sentence : If he wants to be an actor it's because he wants to be famous.

Split sentence in Spanish

Split sentences are combined with the blocked sentences to form what are known as cleft structures. Split clauses, construcciones clivadas or also construcciones hendidas , construcciones escindidas are formed when the subject of a sentence slips through a copular sentence to the left, i.e. the beginning of the sentence. The matrix theorem then follows as a relative clause . For comparison with the pseudo -gap clauses or blocked clauses , construcciones seudo-clivadas or also construcciones seudo-hendidas , the subject moves to the right in the sentence. What is common in both forms is the emphasis on the subject, either by moving it to the left, to the beginning of the sentence, or to the right to the end of the sentence. As a result, there is a focus according to the now changed arrangement of the parts of the sentence . With the gap and also blocking sentences it is possible to highlight the person or the object of the described actions. The typical form of construction predominant in the Spanish language is:

  • ser ( copula ) - the focused part of the sentence, with a - que or quien for people - relative clause
  • Noun with quien or el que , la que , z. B. Fue A. que entró en el manicomio. It was A. who entered the madhouse.
  • Noun phrase with quien or el que , la que , e.g. B. Fue A. el que entró en el manicomio. It was A. who entered the madhouse.
  • Prepositional phrase without quien , e.g. B. Fue con gracia que lo miró. It was with grace that he looked at him.
  • Adjective , e.g. B. Lo descontentos que están. You are dissatisfied.
  • Adverb , e.g. B. Fue entonces que le hablé por última vez. It was then that I spoke to her for the last time.

But there are also typical construction forms in Spanish for the locking clauses, like this:


  • Hadumod Bußmann (Ed.) With the collaboration of Hartmut Lauffer: Lexikon der Sprachwissenschaft. 4th, revised and bibliographically supplemented edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-520-45204-7 .
  • Claus D. Pusch: Morphosyntax, information structure and pragmatics: preverbal markers in Gascon Occitan and in other languages. Volume 124 by Script Oralia, Gunter Narr Verlag, Tübingen 2001, ISBN 3-8233-5434-5 , p. 208 f
  • Ursula Wienen : On the translatability of marked forms of cohesion. A functional study of the continuum of split adverbials and split connectors in Spanish, French and German. Peter Lang, European Science Publishing House, Frankfurt am Main 2006

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Brigitte Handwerker: Foreign language German: grammatical description, career paths, teaching methodology. Volume 409 of Tübingen Contributions to Linguistics, Gunter Narr Verlag, Tübingen 1995, ISBN 3-8233-5074-9 , p. 212
  2. Contributions to Foreign Language Mediation 43/2005 . Institute for Foreign Language Philologies of the University of Koblenz-Landau in cooperation with the Language Teaching Institute of the University of Konstanz. P. 87
  3. Lambrecht, Knud. 2001. A framework for the analysis of cleft constructions. Linguistics, 39 (3): 463-516.
  4. Kent Spielmann: What is a pseudo-cleft sentence? . In: LinguaLinks Library . SIL International. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
  5. P. Collins: Cleft and pseudo-cleft constructions in English. Routledge, London 1991
  6. ^ Jorge M. Guitart: Del uso de las oraciones hendidas en el español actual. Revista Internacional d'Humanitats 27 jan-abr 2013 CEMOrOc-Feusp / Univ. Autònoma de Barcelona
  7. Wolfgang Reumuth; Otto Winkelmann: Practical grammar of the Spanish language. Gottfried Egert, Wilhelmsfeld 1993, ISBN 3-9269-7221-1 .
  8. ^ Holger Siever: Translate Spanish into German. A work book. Narr study books, Gunter Narr, Tübingen 2008, ISBN 978-3-8233-6391-0 , p. 129.
  9. ^ Dietrich Homberger: Subject dictionary for linguistics. Reclam, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-1501-8241-7 , p. 486.
  10. ^ Carlos Felipe da Conceição Pinto: La adquisición de la escisión en el español peninsular. (Doctorando UNICAMP) Recebido 15, jan. 2011 / Aprovado 7, fev. 2011
  11. Highlighting of individual parts of a sentence by splitting the sentence.