It was Jenny who stole the cake from the bakery.

I'm learning presuppositions & trigger words in my linguistics class. In an emphatic sentence like above am I correct in my understanding that...

the presupposition is "Someone stole the cake from the bakery" trigger is: "It was Jenny"

Thank you!

  • You might say that "who" presupposes a referent, and that's the trigger. ("It" and "Jenny" both indicate the same entity as "who".) Dec 4, 2022 at 14:15
  • 1
    This is an it-cleft (from Jenny stole the cake from the bakery), and the presupposition comes from the construction. The second part of the cleft, after Jenny, is a restrictive relative clause, and that is the trigger for the presupposition, since material in relatives is presupposed.
    – jlawler
    Dec 4, 2022 at 18:37


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