'Inverted' imperatives in English

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Abstract

Imperatives in English occur with a 'Subject do(n't)' order as well as with the reverse order 'do(n't) Subject'. With reference to interrogatives, studies of imperatives quite generally assume that the suface inverted order similarly arises when 'do(n't)' is placed in C above the subject in SpecIP. I present evidence that the (non-)inverted orders rather occur because there is variation in the position of subjects in imperatives. This analysis is shown to account for a cluster of other properties that caharacterize the imperative. The syntax of imperatives is relevant to a number of current issues in syntactic theory, such as the status of the EPP, the motivation for Move and the apparent problem of optional displacement.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationImperative clauses in generative syntax
EditorsW. van der Wurff
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherJohn Benjamins
Pages124-144
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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