SSP Forum: Cleo Condoravdi » Show

Feb. 12, 2018

Start Date

& End Date

12:30 p.m.

Start Time

to

1:20 p.m.

End Time

at 460-126 (Greenberg Seminar Room)

Location

The
Symbolic Systems Forum

presents

Talk About Imperatives

featuring
Cleo Condoravdi
Linguistics Department

Monday, Feb. 12, 2018
12:30-1:20 pm
Building 460, Room 126 (Margaret Jacks Hall)

ABSTRACT:

Imperative sentences are used not only to command or prohibit, as is commonly assumed, but also to request, plead, offer, permit, and even to merely express a wish, to give advice, or to concede. What is common across all these uses?  I will propose that imperatives create commitments to preferences, which guide action choices. None of the perceived interpretations of imperatives reflect their meaning directly. They all arise from inferences about why the speaker would incur the commitment.  This view explains the communicative equivalence of imperatives with necessity modals, like "must" or "should", in some uses, and with possibility modals, like "may" or "can", in others. Moreover, it explains why modals can be used to give advice on why a certain goal should be rescinded given the facts of the matter, but imperatives cannot.

Description

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