19 April 2015

Kaufmann gives first department colloq on Tuesday

Magdalena Kaufmann (UConn) will give a department colloquium on Tuesday, April 21, at 4:00 in N400. The title and abstract of her talk follows.

Embedded imperatives: venturing into the cross-linguistic picture

Many languages are taken to have grammatical marking of imperative clauses (verbal morphology, clause type particles). For a long time, the standard assumption had been that such markers cannot occur in embedded sentences  ("Imperatives cannot be embedded"). More recent research has discovered a series of counter-examples to this generalization. At the same time, it remains to be acknowledged that embedding is severely restricted cross-linguistically. Building on, and extending, what I discussed in Kaufmann (2012, ch. 6.1), I investigate patterns in the exceptions to the putative ban on embedded imperatives. I focus on data from English, German, Japanese, Korean, and Slovenian (specifically, the interpretation of the imperative subject), and I suggest an account in terms of clashes between shiftable (in the sense of Schlenker 2003) and unshiftable indexicality. While the talk will focus mostly on imperatives in reported speech, I will discuss some connections to imperative marking in relative clauses and in matrix wh-sentences.