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Share Paper 3392

Imperatives and Intonation: The Case of the Down-Stepped Level Terminal Contour
Sunwoo Jeong and Cleo Condoravdi
214-223 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


In this paper, we examine an understudied pairing between a sentence type and a terminal contour: imperatives with the downstepped level terminal contour, which we call DLT. We establish that DLT is systematically associated with a subset of imperative uses that cut across the traditional illocutionary distinctions, and that the felicity of DLT imperatives is further dependent on certain contextual information. We also demonstrate that DLT imperatives contribute a diverse range of social and interactional meanings. To understand these empirical patterns, we posit two independent conventions that have a cumulative effect: the sentence type convention for imperatives and the intonational convention for DLT, which indexes certain aspects of the context.

Published in

Proceedings of the 35th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Wm. G. Bennett, Lindsay Hracs, and Dennis Ryan Storoshenko
Table of contents
Printed edition: $395.00