Chapter published in:Imperatives and Directive Strategies
Edited by Daniël Van Olmen and Simone Heinold
[Studies in Language Companion Series 184] 2017
Reasons to reasoning
Rhetorical imperatives are formal imperatives that convey an assertion of the opposite polarity. As assertions, they can be judged to be true or false. As morphological imperatives, they reject embedding and have verb-subject word order. Rhetorical imperatives involve a widening of the domain operator, responsible both for the generic interpretation of the subject pronoun tú ‘you (singular)’ and for the licensing of negative polarity items. A speaker uses a rhetorical imperative to make the addressee aware of the impossibility of putting into action the content of p. This supports the theories that analyze imperatives as inherently conveying directive force. Finally, it is argued that rhetorical imperatives may result from the grammaticalization of a non-directive imperative-like conditional.
Published online: 11 April 2017
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Cited by 1 other publications
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