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New Work on Speech Acts$
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Daniel Fogal, Daniel W. Harris, and Matt Moss

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198738831

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198738831.001.0001

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Clause-Type, Force, and Normative Judgment in the Semantics of Imperatives

Clause-Type, Force, and Normative Judgment in the Semantics of Imperatives

Chapter:
(p.67) 3 Clause-Type, Force, and Normative Judgment in the Semantics of Imperatives
Source:
New Work on Speech Acts
Author(s):

Nate Charlow

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198738831.003.0003

This paper argues that imperatives express contents that are both cognitively and semantically related to, but nevertheless distinct from, modal propositions. On this analysis, imperatives semantically encode features of planning that are modally specified. Uttering an imperative amounts to tokening this feature in discourse, and thereby proffering it for adoption by the audience. This analysis resolves empirical problems that confront two major strands of theorizing about imperatives. It also suggests an appealing reorientation of clause-type theorizing, in which the cognitive act of updating on a typed sentence plays a central role in theorizing about both its semantics and role in discourse.

Keywords:   semantics of imperatives, conditional imperatives, quantified imperatives, clausetypes, Portner, Kaufmann

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