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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton September 30, 2009

Imperative as conditional: From constructional to compositional semantics

Egbert Fortuin and Ronny Boogaart
From the journal

Abstract

The topic of constructional inheritance is discussed by means of a detailed qualitative analysis of the conditional imperative construction in Dutch and in Russian. It is argued that the two distinctive features of this construction, as compared with other conditional constructions such as explicit ‘if ’ conditionals, can be motivated in a compositional approach: (i) from the directive imperative construction, the conditional use inherits intersubjective meaning; (ii) from the conditional paratactic construction, it inherits the pragmatic (context-dependent) feature that the situation in the protasis immediately leads to the situation in the apodosis. As such, we show that a compositional analysis, defined as constructional inheritance, is fruitful in motivating both the semantics and the pragmatics of complex constructions.


Correspondence address: Leiden University Centre for Linguistics (LUCL), Postbus 9515 RA, Leiden, The Netherlands. E-mail: 〈
Correspondence address: Leiden University Centre for Linguistics (LUCL), Postbus 9515 RA, Leiden, The Netherlands. E-mail: 〈

Received: 2007-12-21
Revised: 2008-12-12
Published Online: 2009-09-30
Published in Print: 2009-October

© 2009 by Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, D-10785 Berlin

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