Restricting and Embedding Imperatives

  • Nate Charlow
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6042)


We use imperatives to refute a naïve analysis of update potentials (force-operators attaching to sentences), arguing for a dynamic analysis of imperative force as restrictable, directed, and embeddable. We propose a dynamic, non-modal analysis of conditional imperatives, as a counterpoint to static, modal analyses (e.g., Schwager [16]). Our analysis retains Kratzer’s [8] analysis of if-clauses as restrictors of some operator (with Schwager), but avoids typing it as a generalized quantifier over worlds (against her), instead as a dynamic force operator (cf. Portner [13, 14]; Potts [15]). Arguments for a restrictor treatment (but against a quantificational treatment) are mustered, and we propose a novel analysis of update on conditional imperatives (and an independently motivated revision of the standard ordering-semantics for root modals that makes use of it). Finally, we argue that imperative force is embeddable under an operation much like dynamic conjunction.


Propositional Attitude Contingency Plan Natural Language Semantic Imperative Operator Conversational Background 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nate Charlow
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Michigan 

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