Chapter published in:Imperatives and Directive Strategies
Edited by Daniël Van Olmen and Simone Heinold
[Studies in Language Companion Series 184] 2017
Imperatives and evidentiality in Innu
Languages with a rich morphology such as Innu, an aboriginal language of Canada, which clearly mark phenomena that are less obvious in analytic languages, have contributed significantly to our understanding of language in several domains. Innu is of particular interest for the typology of imperatives because the imperative in this language is more than just a grammatical mood: it has three different paradigms of specialized imperative verbal forms with specific semantic overtones. The so-called indirect imperative paradigm is the focus of the present chapter. It is a type of absential imperative, where the action is expected to be performed in the absence of the speaker. We argue that it actually expresses evidentiality. It is a type of imperative which is not very well-known: it seems to be rare cross-linguistically and difficult to demonstrate. The analysis of the Innu imperative here sheds new light on the issue.
Published online: 11 April 2017
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