Imperative Turns at Talk

The design of directives in action

Marja-Leena Sorjonen | University of Helsinki
Liisa Raevaara | University of Helsinki
Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen | 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
“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.”
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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
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2021.  In The Cambridge Handbook of Sociopragmatics,  pp. 13 ff. 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
Deppermann, Arnulf
2021.  In The Cambridge Handbook of Sociopragmatics,  pp. 69 ff. Crossref logo
Deppermann, Arnulf & Alexandra Gubina
2021. Positionally-sensitive action-ascription. Interactional Linguistics 1:2  pp. 183 ff. Crossref logo
Hoey, Elliott M.
2022. Self-authorizing action: On let me X in English social interaction. Language in Society 51:1  pp. 95 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
Laakso, Minna
2021.  In Intersubjectivity in Action [Pragmatics & Beyond New Series, 326],  pp. 349 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
2022. Emergent L2 Grammars in and for Social Interaction: Introduction to the Special Issue. The Modern Language Journal 106:S1  pp. 3 ff. Crossref logo
Raymond, Chase Wesley
2022. Suffixation and sequentiality. Interactional Linguistics 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
White, Anne Elizabeth Clark
2020. Authority and camaraderie: The delivery of directives amongst the ice floes. Language in Society 49:2  pp. 207 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 31 march 2022. 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