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CommandsA Cross-Linguistic Typology$
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Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald and R. M. W. Dixon

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198803225

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198803225.001.0001

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Imperatives and commands: a cross-linguistic view

Imperatives and commands: a cross-linguistic view

(p.1) 1 Imperatives and commands: a cross-linguistic view

Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald

Oxford University Press

The chapter offers a cross-linguistic approach to commands as a speech act, and the structure of imperatives in their various guises, focusing on canonical (second person) and non-canonical (other person-oriented) imperatives. It also addresses imperative specific categories and meanings, and social functions of imperatives, as well as possible restrictions on their formation and uses. Negative imperatives, or prohibitives, may differ from positive imperatives in terms of their semantics and structure. If imperative forms sound too harsh, essentially non-command forms can be deployed in their stead as command strategies. The chapter sets the scene for the volume, and also contains a summary of subsequent chapters within it.

Keywords:   imperative, command, social conventions, directive speech act, prohibitive, command strategy, person

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