Imperatives as Future Plans

  • Regine Eckardt


Disjoint imperative sentences like (Nimm die) Hände hoch, oder ich schiesse!, literally (take your) hands up, or I’ll shoot! intuitively present the addressee with all her alternatives for action. The speaker informs that all future worlds, as far as the speaker can forsee, are such that the addressee raises her hands or gets killed. I propose a semantic/pragmatic analysis for sentences in the imperative mood that adopts this exhausitve description of future alternatives as a semantic backbone. Different contextual instantiations of alternatives capture a wide range of uses of sentences in imperative mood, as well as coordinations of imperative and declarative sentences, in a uniform way.
How to Cite
Eckardt, R. (1). Imperatives as Future Plans. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 15, 209-224. Retrieved from