Imperative Turns at Talk

The design of directives in action

| University of Helsinki
| University of Helsinki
| University of Helsinki
ISBN 9789027226402 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
ISBN 9789027265524 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
In middle-class Anglo-speaking circles imperatives are considered impolite forms that command another to do something; etiquette manuals recommend avoiding them. The papers in this collection de-construct such lay beliefs. Through the empirical examination of everyday and institutional interaction across a range of languages, they show that imperatives are routinely used for constructing turns that further sociality in interactional situations. Moreover, they show that for understanding the use of an imperatively formatted turn, its specific design (whether it contains, e.g., an overt subject, object, modal particles, or diminutives), and its sequential and temporal positioning in verbal and embodied activities are crucial. The fact that the same type of imperative turn is appropriate under the same circumstances across linguistically diverse cultures suggests that there are common aspects of imperative turn design and common pragmatic dimensions of situations warranting their use. The volume provides new insights into the resources and processes involved when social actors try to get another to do something.
[Studies in Language and Social Interaction, 30]  2017.  vi, 435 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Imperative turns at talk: An introduction
Marja-Leena Sorjonen, Liisa Raevaara and Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen
Part 1. Structure and use of imperative turns
Chapter 2. A cline of visible commitment in the situated design of imperative turns: Evidence from German and Polish
Jörg Zinken and Arnulf Deppermann
Chapter 3. Precision timing and timed embeddedness of imperatives in embodied courses of action: Examples from French
Lorenza Mondada
Chapter 4. Secondary and deviant uses of the imperative for requesting in Italian
Giovanni Rossi
Chapter 5. Three imperative action formats in Danish talk-in-interaction: The case of imperative + modal particles bare and lige
Trine Heinemann and Jakob Steensig
Chapter 6. Requests for here-and-now actions in Russian conversation
Galina B. Bolden
Part 2. Sequences with imperative turns
Chapter 7. In the face of resistance: A Finnish practice for insisting on imperatively formatted directives
Marja Etelämäki and Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen
Chapter 8. Imperatives and responsiveness in Finnish conversation
Marja-Leena Sorjonen
Chapter 9. Negotiating deontic rights in second position: Young adult daughters’ imperatively formatted responses to mothers’ offers in Estonian
Leelo Keevallik
Part 3. Sequences with imperative turns in asymmetric situations
Chapter 10. Imperatives in Swedish medical consultations
Jan Lindström, Camilla Lindholm, Catrin Norrby, Camilla Wide and Jenny Nilsson
Chapter 11. Assigning roles and responsibilities: Finnish imperatively formatted directive actions in a mobile instructional setting
Mirka Rauniomaa
Chapter 12. Managing compliance in violin instruction: The case of the Finnish clitic particles -pA and -pAs in imperatives and hortatives
Melisa Stevanovic
Chapter 13. Adjusting the design of directives to the activity environment: Imperatives in Finnish cooking club interaction
Liisa Raevaara
Chapter 14. Epilogue: Imperatives – The language of immediate action
Peter Auer
Transcription conventions
Name index
Subject index
“Imperatives are one of the three major sentence types, together with interrogatives and declaratives. In this collection of articles, scholars in Interactional Linguistics and Conversation Analysis examine the use of imperative forms as turns-at-talk and social actions in naturally occurring interaction. The studies not only demonstrate an acute attention to linguistic form across a range of languages; they also reveal the subtle structures of social interaction in which imperative turns naturally find their home. This volume is essential reading for all scholars of interaction and grammar and the complex relationship between linguistic form and social action.”
“This volume powerfully demonstrates how analyzing language in its primary habitat – social interaction – entails a fundamental reconsideration of even the most established categories of grammar. Deconstructing the notion according to which the use of imperatives is basically related to ‘commanding’ and ‘impoliteness’, the studies collected here document the wide range of actions that speakers accomplish by means of imperative constructions in real-life situations. Both original in its approach and profound in its implications, the volume as a whole advances our understanding of the workings of grammar in light of the temporal and multisemiotic unfolding of social interaction.”
“This enjoyable book fully succeeds in its aim of explaining the emergence of grammar from the patterns and regularities within social interaction.”
Cited by

Cited by 13 other publications

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2018. Publications Received. Language in Society 47:1  pp. 169 ff. Crossref logo
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2021.  In OKAY across Languages [Studies in Language and Social Interaction, 34], Crossref logo
Betz, Emma, Carmen Taleghani-Nikazm & Peter Golato
2020.  In Mobilizing Others [Studies in Language and Social Interaction, 33],  pp. 1 ff. Crossref logo
Bolaños-Carpio, Alexa
2020.  In Mobilizing Others [Studies in Language and Social Interaction, 33],  pp. 229 ff. Crossref logo
Hoey, Elliott M.
2020. Self-authorizing action: On let me X in English social interaction. Language in Society  pp. 1 ff. Crossref logo
Kim, Stephanie Hyeri & Mary Shin Kim
2020.  In Mobilizing Others [Studies in Language and Social Interaction, 33],  pp. 19 ff. Crossref logo
Lindström, Jan, Camilla Lindholm, Inga-Lill Grahn & Martina Huhtamäki
2020.  In Emergent Syntax for Conversation [Studies in Language and Social Interaction, 32],  pp. 245 ff. Crossref logo
Mushin, Ilana & Simona Pekarek Doehler
2021. Linguistic structures in social interaction. Interactional Linguistics 1:1  pp. 2 ff. Crossref logo
Okada, Misao
2018. Imperative Actions in Boxing Sparring Sessions. Research on Language and Social Interaction 51:1  pp. 67 ff. Crossref logo
Routarinne, Sara & Maria Ahlholm
2021. Developing Requests in Multilingual Classroom Interaction: A Case of Second Language Development in Middle Childhood. Applied Linguistics 42:4  pp. 765 ff. Crossref logo
Siitonen, Pauliina, Mirka Rauniomaa & Tiina Keisanen
2021. Language and the Moving Body: Directive Actions With the Finnish kato “look” in Nature-Related Activities. Frontiers in Psychology 12 Crossref logo
Urbanik, Paweł
2020. Getting others to share goods in Polish and Norwegian: Material and moral anchors for request conventions . Intercultural Pragmatics 17:2  pp. 177 ff. Crossref logo
Wiercinska, Katarzyna
2019. Op zoek naar perceptieverschillen bij directief taalgebruik in het Pools en het Nederlands: een onderzoeksvoorstel. AUC PHILOLOGICA 2018:4  pp. 169 ff. Crossref logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 13 september 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.

Subjects & Metadata
BIC Subject: CFG – Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis
BISAC Subject: LAN009030 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Pragmatics
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2017014781 | Marc record