Much depends on the guilt or innocence of these archetypal “innocents”-- --the first in a long line of allegedly framed leftists from Alger Hiss to the Rosenbergs to Leonard Peltier to Mumia Abu Jamal--including the very credibility of the American cultural establishment. (Source)

Is the subject of this sentence really "much"? I tend to add "it" in the position of the subject ("It much depends…"). Was it simply omitted or is the pronoun not proper?

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    Much is the subject, equivalent to a great deal or many things. – StoneyB on hiatus May 16 '16 at 11:22
  • And the sentence with "it" (It much depends…) would be ungrammatical or would have a different meaning? – bart-leby May 16 '16 at 12:08
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    Yes. Your it has no referent, which would ordinarily be a fused relative clause such as "It much depends on X whether Y or Z" or "It much depends on X what Y we choose", and so forth. – StoneyB on hiatus May 16 '16 at 12:19
  • OK. Thank you. In your examples of a fused relative clause the referent of "it" is the subordinate clause, i.e. "what Y we choose…"? – bart-leby May 16 '16 at 12:43
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    Yes. This construction is called an it-cleft; it is typically used to promote an object or other subordinate constituent into the predicate ("new information") position. – StoneyB on hiatus May 16 '16 at 13:15

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