Imperatives and commitments in Romanian academic meeting interactions

Adina Ioana Velea

Abstract

Romanian imperatives may include different constructions that do not necessarily entail an imperative verb, such as the subjunctive and the indicative mood, interjections or elliptical formats. This study focuses on the ‘bare’ imperative turns-at-talk by applying the methodology of conversation analysis on a corpus consisting of naturally occurring academic meeting interactions. It shows how the imperative expresses actions that display no contingency or difficulty in managing them due to the existence of mainly prior explicit commitments (suggestions, proposals, agreements, previous allocated tasks) that entitle the speakers to use the imperative form in order to direct their recipients. Moreover, it shows how the turn including an imperative verb may also represent a simultaneous commitment, more explicitly an offer that accounts for the lack of contingencies and makes relevant the use of the imperative form within the context of Romanian academic meeting interactions.

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