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Re: OT: Imperatives (Was: Re: OT: German Imperatives)

From:Jeff Rollin <jeff.rollin@...>
Date:Tuesday, May 15, 2007, 23:44
In the last episode, on Tue, 15 May 2007 16:24:47 -0700, "H. S. Teoh"
<hsteoh@...> wrote:

> On Tue, May 15, 2007 at 12:06:19PM -0700, David J. Peterson wrote: > [...] > > And, yes, this is very OT, and I apologize. Ob Conlang, I've > > never done anything interesting at all with imperatives. > > Hmm. Then I probably haven't either, since that comment made me > wonder, "What is there that might be interesting about imperatives?" > > Depends on your perspective, really. In (Peninsular) Spanish, with
formal forms of address (using the polite "2nd person" pronouns "Usted" (sg) and "Ustedes" (pl), you use 3rd person agreement on the verb (since the forms originate in the formula "Vuestra Merced" "Your Grace" and, accordingly, refer obliquely to a second person using a 3rd person term). However, the Imperative has no 3rd person, so the 3rd person of the Subjunctive is used instead. So you have: Anda! (Go, 2nd pn sg fam.) / Andad! (Go, 2nd pn pl fam.) Ande! (Go, 2nd pn sg form.) / Anden! (Go, 2nd pn pl. form.) ("So how do you form the '3rd person imperative?'", you may ask. It is formed by using the word "Que" (that) with the subjunctive: "Que vengan!" Let them come! I also remember reading about a language in which there is a (morphological) /first/ person imperative. Semantically, this form has a promissory/jussive effect: "I promise/swear to..." Jeff -- For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled. - Richard Phillips Feynman