tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Dec 14 06:34:20 1993

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something weird about imperatives



>From: laibow@brick.purchase.edu (Marnen Laibow-Koser        )
>Date: Mon, 13 Dec 93 19:56:01 EST

>Doch tlha' jatlhta' Guido#1:
>: 

[using yI- in first-person imperatives]

>Interesting, but I don't think I like it. While pronouns are not wrong in
>conjunction with a verbal prefix, as I read the rules they cannot *contradict*
>the prefix. Imperatives are weird in just about every language I know (except
>perhaps Lojban), because of the very nature of the beast: they have an object
>and an addressee, but no real subject. [This is ad hoc; I don't know if someone
>more versed in linguistic theory would say otherwise.]

Oh, they have a subject, in most languages, it's just usually implicit.
When I was taught to diagram sentences, commands always had "(you)" in the
subject slot.  And many languages at least allow the pronoun optionally.
That's why I, too, opposed "yI-" for putative first-person imperatives:
Even if they exist, who's to say it's the right prefix?

~mark



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