Identificational or cleft sentences in Tagalog, as in other Philippine languages, have the structure of an equational sentence in which the two NP constituents are both marked with the particle ang. This structure has been described in at least two different contradictory ways: (a) where the first ang-NP is the subject (or in the
literature called topic/focus) and the second ang-NP is the predicate/comment, or (b) the exact opposite sequence in (a), predicate+ subject, which is the typical sentence structure characteristic of Philippine languages. The predicate with the particle ang is identified as definite or definitized. Semantically, the relation between the two
structurally identical constituents means that a particular person or thing is identified or singled out as the one possessing a particular attribute or the one performing a specific role. In this paper, I will show that the first ang-NP of this kind of construction is the surface subject and at the same time the focus constituent. I will attempt to
show some syntactic grounds for such an analysis and propose that identificational sentences in Tagalog follow in effect the more general process of topicalization, where the focused entity appears in initial position.
De Guzman, V. P. (1982). The focus constituent as subject of identificational sentences*. Calgary Working Papers in Linguistics, 8(Fall), 21-34.