Author:
Wei-Cherng Sam JhengDepartment of English, National Taitung University, Taitung County, Taiwan

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Abstract

This paper develops a syntax-pragmatics interface analysis of imperative clauses overtly marked by two grammatical categories of qing ‘please’ in Mandarin and refines the division of labor among directive force, clause typing and deontic modality jointly computing the interpretative properties of qing imperatives. We present a cluster of properties to differentiate between the two categories of qing and observe that qing 1 denotes obligation imposed on the addressee by the speaker, while qing 2 denotes permission with which the addressee is allowed to perform an action or make true a state of affairs according to a set of norms. It is argued that qing 1 is an imperative mood head, while qing 2 is an imperative adverb, but both are endowed with a similar internal composition and extent of the phrasal hierarchies of the CP periphery, and their disparate imperative properties can be ascribed to the addressee-oriented and subject-oriented deontic modality (Tsai & Portner 2008). Following Haegeman & Hill's (2013) version of the Speech Act Phrase, we claim that a speech act layer externally merges to the topmost position of ForceP to drive the syntax-pragmatics interface computation of the speaker-addressee relation and to mediate the imperative mood and clause typing represented in the CP layer.

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2021  
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