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Price: $115.95

Hardback 296 pp.
156 mm x 234 mm



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Imprint: OUP UK

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The Morphosyntax of Imperatives

Daniela Isac

Series : Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics

This book studies the properties of imperative clauses in the context of a theory of Universal Grammar. Daniela Isac argues that the specificity of imperative clauses cannot be the result of a unique imperative Force feature; instead, the "type" of imperative clauses can be traced back to a plurality of finer grained features, such as Modality and phi-features, hosted by the Mod, Infl, and Speech Event heads, among others.

The data are drawn from a wide range of languages including various Romance, Slavic, and Germanic languages, as well as Finnish and Inuktitut. The analysis accounts for recurrent patterns in the interaction of imperative mood with phenomena like negation, restrictions on grammatical subjects, and the possibility of embedding imperative clauses. The approach, which focuses exclusively on morphosyntactic rather than semantic features, is potentially transferable to the analysis of other clause types, such as exclamatives, interrogatives, and declaratives.

Readership : Scholars and advanced students in the fields of syntax and semantics, as well as all theoretical linguists with an interest in clause types, from graduate level upwards.

1. Introduction and aims
2. Descriptive properties of imperatives
3. Previous analyses
4. Why a new analysis?
5. Modality
6. The Speaker
7. The Addressee
8. True imperatives
9. Surrogative imperatives: subjunctives
10. Surrogate imperatives: infinitives
11. Embeddedness
12. Conclusions

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Daniela Isac is Associate Professor of Linguistics at Concordia University, where she has been teaching since receiving her PhD in 2000 from the University of Bucharest. Her interests include syntactic theory, the syntax-semantics interface, and the foundations of linguistics as cognitive science. She is the co-author, with Charles Reiss, of i-Language: An Introduction to Linguistics as Cognitive Science (OUP, 2008; 2nd edition 2013).

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Special Features

  • Provides a morphosyntactic account of a variety of phenomena associated with imperatives.
  • Illustrated with extensive data from diverse languages including Romanian, Spanish, Finnish, and Inuktitut.
  • Offers an analysis relevant not just to imperatives, but also to other clause types.