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Addressing the addressee in imperatives Raffaella Zanuttini joint work with Simon Mauck Miok Pak and Paul Portner Georgetown University March 4 2005 Stony Brook 1 Marking clause type at the syntax semantics interface A fundamental concept in the description of language is that of clause type a certain kind of pairing between sentence form and meaning Sadock Zwicky 1985 1 1 The major clause types appear to be universal declaratives interrogatives and imperatives 2 They form a closed system a There are sets of corresponding sentences the members of which differ only in belonging to different types b The types are mutually exclusive no sentence being simultaneously of two different types S Z 1985 158 The clause type system is not the same as the morphosyntactic mood system despite their frequent overlap in the case of imperatives 3 Their meanings represent specific illocutionary forces assertion requesting information ordering and perhaps others An illocutionary act is performed in saying something and Austin 1962 emphasizes that it is conventional i e part of the meaning broadly construed Illocutionary force and the semantics of clause type cannot be identified though for two reasons First many illocutionary forces aren t associated with a particular grammatical form e g promising or threatening And second the illocutionary force of one clause type may be expressed by another 2 1 a You must leave now declarative with the force of ordering 1 This work is supported by National Science Foundation grant BCS 0234278 to Paul Portner and Raffaella Zanuttini 2 This point was discussed in the generative semantics literature Sadock 1971 McCawley 1973 1 b Aren t you the cutest thing interrogative with the force of exclaiming c Please tell me when the plane is leaving imperative with the force of asking We distinguish the illocutionary force of a clause from its grammatically encoded function We label the force conventionally associated with a sentence s form its sentential force



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