Michigan Linguistics Syntax/Semantic Discussion Group
A reprise of my poster presentation from the Workshop on Semantic Variation at the University of Chicago in October. I'll give an extended introduction to preference semantics, the basis of the analysis of imperative meaning proposed in my dissertation, which this work extends. Then I'll present two "exceptional" phenomena: past tense imperatives (Syrian Arabic, Estonian, Dutch) and dummy imperative verbs in negative commands (Serbo-Croatian, Latin, Welsh). Preference semantics accounts for the interpretation of these constructions without any additional stipulations.