- The Linguistic Society of Japan
- 言語研究 (ISSN:00243914)
- vol.1983, no.83, pp.15-40, 1983-02-28 (Released:2010-11-26)
One of the most important theoretical problems of English imperatives is concerned with whether we can postulate the category AUX and the category COMP in them as in declaratives or interrogatives. The solution of the problem leads to a clearer characterization of AUX and COMP in English grammar in general, and to a correct understanding of the categorical status of ‘imperative’ do and don't.In this paper I analyse the structure of English imperatives making a comparison between them and English infinitives or subjunctives present, and argue for the following points:(a) The is no AUX in English imperatives (or in English infinitives and subjunctives present).(b) There is the category IMP, instead of COMP, in English imperatives.(c)‘Imperative’ do and don't are dominated by IMP, not by AUX, and their lexical category is S-Prt (=Sentence Particle).(d) The do and don't are single lexical items with their own semantic content.Furthermore, I argue that the postulation of the category S-Prt helps explain some syntactic properties of why of ‘why (not) sentences’ or let's in English, and those of various sentence-final particles lik na, ka, etc. in Japanese from a typological point of view.