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SYNTAX: in the pseudo-cleft construction, like the cleft construction, some part X of a sentence is focussed. EXAMPLE: (ii) is a pseudo-cleft version of (i). The focussed part X (a herring) is associated with a free relative clause in a copula construction:

(i)  John ate a herring
(ii) [What John ate e] was a herring

LIT. Smits, R.J.C. (1989)