Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy

Interpreting Imperatives

Authors: Kaufmann, Magdalena

  • Gives a uniform analysis for all occurences of the individuated form type
  • Takes into account cross-linguistic findings
  • Offers an explanation and application of clear criteria for identification of imperatives
  • Draws on parallels to other natural language phenomena (e.g. context-dependence of modals)
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  • ISBN 978-94-007-2269-9
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Hardcover $159.00
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  • ISBN 978-94-007-2268-2
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Softcover $159.00
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About this book

Imperative clauses are recognized as one of the major clause types alongside those known as declarative and interrogative. Nevertheless, they are still an enigma in the study of meaning, which relies largely on either the concept of truth conditions or the concept of information growth—neither of which are easily applied to imperatives. This book puts forward a fresh perspective. It analyzes imperatives in terms of modalized propositions, and identifies an additional, presuppositional, meaning component that makes an assertive interpretation inappropriate. The author shows how these two elements can help explain the varied effects imperatives have, depending on their usage context.

Imperatives have been viewed as elusive components of language because they have a range of functions that makes them difficult to unify theoretically. This fresh view of the semantics-pragmatics interface allows for a uniform semantic analysis while accounting for the pragmatic versatility of imperatives.  

Reviews

From the reviews:

“This book provides an analysis of imperatives that aims to unify the study of their linguistic form with that of their various potential uses. … A benefit of this book is that linguists of different areas may find it useful. Because it includes in-depth syntactic analyses of imperatives, as well as semantic and pragmatic ones, different chapters target different audiences. Most linguists interested in imperatives would likely find the whole book helpful … .” (Mary Johnson, The Linguist List, February, 2013)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

  • Setting the Scene

    Kaufmann, Magdalena

    Pages 1-27

  • How to Handle Imperatives in Semantics

    Kaufmann, Magdalena

    Pages 29-72

  • Imperatives as Graded Modals

    Kaufmann, Magdalena

    Pages 73-128

  • From Modalized Propositions to Speech Acts

    Kaufmann, Magdalena

    Pages 129-168

  • Possibility Readings

    Kaufmann, Magdalena

    Pages 169-191

Buy this book

eBook $119.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-94-007-2269-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $159.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-94-007-2268-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $159.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-94-007-3757-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Interpreting Imperatives
Authors
Series Title
Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy
Series Volume
88
Copyright
2012
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
eBook ISBN
978-94-007-2269-9
DOI
10.1007/978-94-007-2269-9
Hardcover ISBN
978-94-007-2268-2
Softcover ISBN
978-94-007-3757-0
Series ISSN
0924-4662
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XII, 272
Topics