Abstract

Manambu, a Ndu language from the East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea, has a complex system of marking positive and negative imperatives. Imperative is the main means of marking directive speech acts, including orders and requests, in the language. The marking and the categories expressed in the imperative are different from declarative and interrogative verbs. Other means of expressing directive speech acts—wishes, desires, requests, and invitations—serve to mitigate the force of command, or increase it, depending on the relationships between speaker and addressee. Such command strategies include irrealis, optative, purposive, desiderative, desubordinated clauses, questions, and nominalizations. A typologically unusual feature of Manambu imperatives is the availability of more negative than positive forms. Imperative forms in Manambu retain a number of archaic features, alongside language-specific innovations.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9421
Print ISSN
0029-8115
Pages
pp. 634-668
Launched on MUSE
2016-12-08
Open Access
No
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