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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: July 2019

Part II - Pragmatics and Linguistic Issues

  • Edited by Kate Scott, Kingston University, London, Billy Clark, Northumbria University, Newcastle, Robyn Carston, University College London
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • pp 113-202


Jary and Kissine examine the meaning of imperative sentences, taking the existing relevance-theoretic semantic analysis, in terms of the desirability and potentiality of the described state of affairs, as their point of departure. In their view, a complete account of the interpretation of imperatives has to explain how they can result in the addressee forming an intention to perform an action, and this requires the theory to make room for ‘action representations’ (in addition to factual representations, such as assumptions). They claim that the imperative form is uniquely specified to interface with such action representations.