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Imperatives... does this work?

From:Nihil Sum <nihilsum@...>
Date:Wednesday, July 24, 2002, 8:31
Wondering if this makes sense:

When indirectly quoting imperatives in Rhean, I've decided to keep the
imperative form.

Kofin migekyurye.
coffee-ACC get-go-2s.IMP
Go get coffee.

Direct quote of imperative:
Zduaim o "kofin migekyurye"
say-1s.PAST (obj) "coffee-ACC get-go-2s.IMP"

HERE -- Indirect quote of imperative:
Zduaim du kofin migekyurye
say-1s.PAST that coffee-ACC get-go-2s.IMP

So the indirect one, expressed in English by "I said to go get coffee" is in
Rhean "I said that [(imperative) go get coffee]".

Now HERE's a trickier one... and this one I will have to change if someone
can show me that this doesn't work:

Du kofin migekyuryem c'u zduait?
that coffee get-go-1s.IMP (qu.) say-2s.PAST?
Did you say to go get coffee?

In other words, "Did you say go-get[first person singular imperative]

Du Lak'udu yuryes' tant radaim.
That Hell-DAT go-3s.IMP him-DAT tell-1s.PAST
I told him to go to Hell.


"Lak'udu yurye!" tant radaim.
"Hell-DAT go-2s.IMP" him-DAT tell-1s.PAST
I told him, "go to Hell!"

Now, on its own the third person imperative "Lak'udu yuryes'" would mean
"let him go to Hell," or "may he go to Hell"... The direct quote shows the
speaker's exact words when saying "(you) Go to Hell!" and thus the
imperative is in the third person. But the indirect quote uses the third
person imperative.
Does this make sense? Are there any other languages that do it this way?
Should I ditch this approach?
Because it seems to me that this sentence:
Du Lak'udu yurye tant radaim.
That Hell-DAT go-2s.IMP him-DAT tell-1s.PAST

... imples the meaning "I told him that YOU (the listener) can go to Hell."
In other words, in his (the third person referred to) presence, I said
"Lak'udu yuryes'" (3s-IMP), referring at that time, in third person, to you.

Du Lak'udu yuryes' tant radaim.
That Hell-DAT go-3s.IMP him-DAT tell-1s.PAST
I told him to go to Hell.
(I told him that he may go to Hell? -- perhaps is a better way of looking at

And so... with the first person singular imperative (which is seldom used on
its own, although first person plural imperative is quite common):

Du kofin migekyurye mu zduaim.
That coffee-ACC get-go-2s.IMP not say-1s.PAST
I didn't say to go get coffee.

the listener replies:

Ak' du kofin MU migekuryem mu zduait.
But that coffee-ACC NOT get-go-1s.IMP not say-2s.PAST
But you didn't say NOT to go get coffee.

...using the FIRST person imperative.

It's difficult to express the concept. I don't know the proper terminology.
But it really seems like the way to put it together. So the questions are:
is there another language that does this? Is this grammatically
sound/unsound? Does it make any bloody sense? And how could this be better
explained, if I were ever to put together a presentable Rhean grammar?


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H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>