In addition to prototypical clefts (e.g., it-clefts), English also employs non-prototypical there-clefts (e.g., There is Sydney who wants to experience every good thing). This squib reviews key grammatical properties of there-clefts, referring to it-clefts. It also discusses the authentic data extracted from the corpus COCA (Corpus of Contemporary American English). It then sketches a construction-based analysis in which the head copula verb in there-clefts is a lexical-class construction derived from the specificational copula. This specificational copula places a cleft clause in the extraposed position, together with assigning a focus value to its second argument. This analysis could pave a new way to license there-clefts in a systematic way.
2. Similarities and differences with it-clefts
3. A c orp us i nvestigation
4. A construction-based approach