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SYNTAX: a Cleft construction can be derived from a non-cleft construction by introducing one of its elements, say X, in a clause having the form It be X, and by turning the rest into a relative clause. Two cleft versions of (i) are given in (ii):

(i)    We saw John
(ii) a It was John [who we saw e]
     b It was John [that we saw e]
See also pseudo-cleft.
LIT. Smits, R.J.C. (1989)