This article is a synchronic study of the imperatives of intentional visual perception as pragmatic markers in English and Dutch. It examines the frequency of ‘look’ and kijk in spoken language, the types of text in which they occur and, above all, the way in which they are used. On the basis of cross-linguistic data from Romance, the article explores the development of the various uses of the imperative of intentional visual perception. It also addresses the question whether this development is a case of grammaticalization or not.
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