LINGUIST List 6.109

Wed 25 Jan 1995

Sum: Imperatives without YOU subjects

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  1. , Sum: Imperatives without YOU subjects

Message 1: Sum: Imperatives without YOU subjects

Date: Tue, 24 Jan 95 17:41 CST
Subject: Sum: Imperatives without YOU subjects

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Summary of responses to my query on Imperatives without YOU subjects

My original query asked for references and suggestions concerning
apparent imperatives with indefinite noun phrase subjects like:
 Don't anybody move.
 All the band members leave the room now.
 All in favor say "aye."
Many thanks to all the respondents: Suzanne Kemmer, Susan Fischer,
Bob Frank, Jussi Karlgren, Steven Schaufele, Larry Horn, Arnold
Zwicky, Alan Huffman, Christer Platzack, Marie Egan, Michael Flier,
Bruce Nevin, Kripka Sundar, And Rosta, Kimberly Weiss, Bruce
Downing, Anton Sherwood, Bernard Comrie, Inger Rosengren, Chase
Wrenn, Peter Coopmans

Horn, Fischer and Flier suggested checking the subject status of
ANYBODY, ALL etc by looking at tags, where it seems that the under-
lying YOU reappears, whereas tags with ANYBODY and ALL sound bad.
 Don't anybody move, will you/*will they?
 All in favor say "aye," won't you/*won't they?
This correlates with the fact that the indefinites can be understood
as specifying the reference of YOU such that ANYBODY equates with
'any one of you', ALL with 'all of you' and so on.

In a similar vein, Rosta, Sundar, Schaufele and Comrie suggest that
ANYBODY and ALL are the lexical realization of a pragmatic addressee
YOU and a presupposed agent YOU.

Weiss, Nevin and Sherwood analyze the examples as containing a
vocative ANYBODY and ALL with a corresponding regular 2nd person

Huffman and Wrenn see these apparent imperatives as subjunctive
sentences, so that the occurrence of ANYBODY and ALL doesn't
require any special comment.

Egan and Karlgren point out the existence of 1st and 3rd person
imperatives in Greek and German. Thus in German:
 Gehen wir ins Kino roughly 'Let's go to the movies'
contains 1st person plural WIR 'we' with imperative GEHEN.
This too would suggest that imperatives with 3rd person subjects
present no anomaly.

These respondents and others mentioned above cited the references

Downing, Bruce. 1969. Vocatives and 3rd-person imperatives in
English. Papers in Linguistics 1,3: 570-92.

Zwicky, Arnold. 1987. Rev. of Davis. The English Imperative.
Linguistics 25, 4: 805-810.

Zwicky, A. 1988. On the subject of bare imperatives in English.
On Language %Stockwell Festschrift%, ed. by Duncan-Rose et al.
Croom Helm.

Beukema, F. & P. Coopmans. 1989. A GB perspective on the
imperative in English. Journal of Linguistics 25: 417-36.

Zanuttini. 1991. U of Pennsylvania dissertation.

Platzack, Chr. & I. Rosengren. 1994. On the subject of imperatives.
Sprache & Pragmatics. to appear.

Takahashi, Hide. to appear. Language Sciences.

Thank you to all who responded. Once I've had a look at the various
references, I may offer a further comment to LINGUIST.
Best wishes,
 Neal Norrick
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