Endorsement of inconsistent imperatives

Authors

  • Cleo Condoravdi
  • Rebecca Jarvis Harvard University
  • Sunwoo Jeong Princeton University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v4i1.4562

Keywords:

imperatives, clause-type conventions, intonational meaning, experimental pragmatics

Abstract

There is an ongoing debate regarding how imperatives convey speaker endorsement. One line of approach builds it into the imperative meaning. Another posits weaker meanings. Indifference uses, like 'Go right! Go left! I don't care!', pose a challenge to the endorsement account. We reconcile the endorsement approach with such uses and argue that they can reduce to the speaker endorsing disjunctive prejacents, which results from one imperative operator taking a list of prejacents under its scope. This analysis predicts that intonational patterns that signal lists will facilitate disjunctive interpretations. We test and confirm this prediction in an experimental study.

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Published

2019-03-30

How to Cite

Condoravdi, Cleo, Rebecca Jarvis, and Sunwoo Jeong. 2019. “Endorsement of Inconsistent Imperatives”. Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America 4 (1): 58:1–12. https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v4i1.4562.