Magdalena Kaufmann | Book chapter on Imperative clauses

Magdalena Kaufmann‘s chapter “Imperative clauses” has been published as part of the book Wh-exclamatives, Imperatives and Wh-questions: Issues on Brazilian Portuguese (De Gruyter Mouton 2024, edited by Simone Guesser, Ani Marchesan and Paulo Medeiros Junior).

Abstract: This chapter introduces imperatives as the class of sentential form types in natural languages that are prototypically associated with the speech act of ordering. I show that imperatives serve for a crosslinguistically stable, but in itself diverse range of speech acts, which makes it challenging to find a common conventional core meaning that would explain the pattern. I discuss specific issues relating to the absence of intuitively accessible truth-values and restrictions on embedding. I then turn to a brief overview of syntactic assumptions about imperatives in general, before considering the status of grammatical categories like subject marking, tense and aspect, and negation in imperative clauses in more detail. Finally, I consider instances of imperative marking as occurring in embedded positions, as well as form types appearing in similar and typically smaller ranges of related functions.