Approaches to grammar for interactional linguistics
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238


Romanian imperatives may include different constructions that do not necessarily entail an imperative verb, such as the subjunctive and the indicative mood, interjections or elliptical formats. This study focuses on the ‘bare’ imperative turns-at-talk by applying the methodology of conversation analysis on a corpus consisting of naturally occurring academic meeting interactions. It shows how the imperative expresses actions that display no contingency or difficulty in managing them due to the existence of mainly prior explicit commitments (suggestions, proposals, agreements, previous allocated tasks) that entitle the speakers to use the imperative form in order to direct their recipients. Moreover, it shows how the turn including an imperative verb may also represent a simultaneous commitment, more explicitly an offer that accounts for the lack of contingencies and makes relevant the use of the imperative form within the context of Romanian academic meeting interactions.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Aikhenvald, Alexandra
    (2010) Imperatives and Commands. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Antaki, Charles , and Alexandra Kent
    (2012) Telling people what to do (and, sometimes, why): Contingency, entitlement and explanation in staff requests to adults with intellectual impairments. Journal of Pragmatics44.6–7: 876-889. doi: 10.1016/j.pragma.2012.03.014
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2012.03.014 [Google Scholar]
  3. Asmuß, Birte , and Sae Oshima
    (2012) Negotiation of entitlement in proposal sequences. Discourse Studies14.1: 67-86. doi: 10.1177/1461445611427215
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1461445611427215 [Google Scholar]
  4. Asmuß, Birte , and Jan Svennevig
    (2009) Meeting talk – an introduction. Journal of Business Communication 46: 3-22. doi: 10.1177/0021943608326761
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0021943608326761 [Google Scholar]
  5. Bax, Ingrid Pufahl
    (1986) How to assign work in an office: A comparison of spoken and written directives in American english. Journal of Pragmatics 10.6: 673-692. doi: 10.1016/0378‑2166(86)90146‑3
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0378-2166(86)90146-3 [Google Scholar]
  6. Boden, Deirdre
    (1994) The Business of Talk: Organizations in Action. Cambridge: Polity Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Craven, Alexandra , and Jonathan Potter
    (2010) Directives: Entitlement and contingency in action. Discourse Studies12.4: 419-442. doi: 10.1177/1461445610370126
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1461445610370126 [Google Scholar]
  8. Curl, Traci
    (2006) Offers of assistance: Constraints on syntactic design. Journal of Pragmatics 38.8: 1257-1280. doi: 10.1016/j.pragma.2005.09.004
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2005.09.004 [Google Scholar]
  9. Curl, Traci , and Paul Drew
    (2008) Contingency and action: A comparison of two forms of requesting. Research on language and social interaction41.2: 129-153. doi: 10.1080/08351810802028613
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08351810802028613 [Google Scholar]
  10. Curl, Traci , John Local , and Gareth Walker
    (2006) Repetition and the prosody–pragmatics interface. Journal of Pragmatics38.10: 1721-1751. doi: 10.1016/j.pragma.2006.02.008
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2006.02.008 [Google Scholar]
  11. Djordjilovic, Olga
    (2012) Displaying and developing team identity in workplace meetings - a multimodal perspective. Discourse Studies 14.1: 111-127. doi: 10.1177/1461445611427205
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1461445611427205 [Google Scholar]
  12. Drew, Paul
    (2005) Conversation analysis. In K. Fitch , and R. Sanders (eds.), Handbook of language and social interaction. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 71-102.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Drew, Paul , and John Heritage
    (1992) Talk at work. Interaction in institutional settings. Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Ervin-Tripp, Susan
    (1976) Is Sybil there? The structure of some American English directives. Language in Society 5.1: 25-66. doi: 10.1017/S0047404500006849
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0047404500006849 [Google Scholar]
  15. Gheorghe, Mihaela , and Adina Velea
    (2012) Control ActsIn Romanian. In Stanca Măda , and Răzvan Săftoiu (eds.), Professional Communication across Languages and Cultures. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, pp. 135-167. doi: 10.1075/ds.17.09ghe
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ds.17.09ghe [Google Scholar]
  16. Goodwin, Marjorie Harness
    (2006) Participation, affect, and trajectory in family directive/response sequences. Text and Talk26.4-5: 513-541.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Guţu-Romalo, Valeria
    (2008) The Grammar of Romanian Language (in Romanian). Bucureşti: Editura Academiei Române.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Heinemann, Trine
    (2006) 'Will you or can't you?': Displaying entitlement in interrogative requests. Journal of Pragmatics 38.7: 1081-1104. doi: 10.1016/j.pragma.2005.09.013
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2005.09.013 [Google Scholar]
  19. Heritage, John , and Steven Clayman
    (2010) Talk in Action: Interactions, Identities, and Institutions. Oxford: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Jefferson, Gail
    (2004) Glossary of transcript symbols with an introduction. In G. Lerner (ed.), Conversation Analysis: Studies From the First Generation. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, pp. 13-31. doi: 10.1075/pbns.125.02jef
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.125.02jef [Google Scholar]
  21. Keisanen, Tiina , and Rauniomaa, Mirka
    (2012) The organization of participation and contingency in prebeginnings of request sequences. Research on Language & Social Interaction45.4: 323-351. doi: 10.1080/08351813.2012.724985
    https://doi.org/10.1080/08351813.2012.724985 [Google Scholar]
  22. Kent, Alexandra
    (2012) Responding to parental directives - What can children do when a parent tells them what to do? In M. Theobold , and S. Danby (eds.), Disputes in Everyday Life: Social and Moral Orders of Children and Young People. New York: American Sociological Association’s Studies of Children and Youth and Emerald Books.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Lee, S.-H
    (2011) Managing non-granting of customers’ requests in commercial service encounters. Research on Language & Social Interaction44: 109-134. doi: 10.1080/08351813.2011.567091
    https://doi.org/10.1080/08351813.2011.567091 [Google Scholar]
  24. Lindström, Anna
    (2005) Language as social action: A study of how senior citizens request assistance with practical tasks in the Swedish home help service. In A. Hakulinen , and M. Selting (eds.), Syntax and lexis in conversation. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, pp. 209-233. doi: 10.1075/sidag.17.11lin
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sidag.17.11lin [Google Scholar]
  25. Maiden, Martin
    (2006) On Romanian imperatives. Philologica Jassyensia II.1: 47-59.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Măda, Stanca
    (2009) Communication in Romanian professional environment (in Romanian). Braşov: Editura Universităţii Transilvania din Braşov.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Ogiermann, Eva , and Joerg Zinken
    (2011) How to propose an action as objectively necessary: The case of polish trzeba x (''one needs to x''). Research on Language & Social Interaction44.3: 263-287. doi: 10.1080/08351813.2011.591900
    https://doi.org/10.1080/08351813.2011.591900 [Google Scholar]
  28. Pană Dindelegan, Gabriela
    (Forthcoming) Romanian Grammar: A linguistic introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Pearson, Bethyl
    (1989) ‘Role-ing out control’ at church business meetings: Directing and disagreeing. Language Sciences11: 289–304. doi: 10.1016/0388‑0001(89)90020‑X
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0388-0001(89)90020-X [Google Scholar]
  30. Pîrvulescu, Mihaela , and Yves Roberge
    (2000) The syntax and morphology of Romanian imperatives. In V. Motapanyane (ed.), Comparative studies in Romanian syntax. Amsterdam: Elsevier, pp. 295-313.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Schegloff, Emanuel A
    (2007) Sequence organization in interaction: A primer in conversation analysis. (Vol. 1). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511791208
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511791208 [Google Scholar]
  32. Sidnell, Jack
    (2010) Conversation Analysis. An introduction. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Stevanovic, Melisa , and Anssi Peräkylä
    (2012) Deontic authority in interaction: The right to announce, propose, and decide. Research on Language & Social Interaction45.3: 297-321. doi: 10.1080/08351813.2012.699260
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08351813.2012.699260 [Google Scholar]
  34. Stivers, Tanya
    (2004) ''No no no'' and other types of multiple sayings in social interaction. Human Communication Research 30.2: 260-293. doi: 10.1111/j.1468‑2958.2004.tb00733.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2958.2004.tb00733.x [Google Scholar]
  35. Svennevig, Jan
    (2012a) The agenda as resource for topic introduction in workplace meetings. Discourse Studies 14.1: 53-66. doi: 10.1177/1461445611427204
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1461445611427204 [Google Scholar]
  36. (2012b) Interaction in workplace meetings. Discourse Studies 14.1: 3-10. doi: 10.1177/1461445611427203
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1461445611427203 [Google Scholar]
  37. Vasilescu, Andra
    (Forthcoming) Clause types. In Gabriela Pană Dindelegan (ed.) Romanian Grammar: A linguistic introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Vine, Bernadette
    (2004) Getting things done at work: The discourse of power in workplace interaction. (Vol. 124). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. doi: 10.1075/pbns.124
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/pbns.124 [Google Scholar]
  39. (2009) Directives at work: Exploring the contextual complexity of workplace directives. Journal of Pragmatics 41.7: 1395-1405. doi: 10.1016/j.pragma.2009.03.001
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2009.03.001 [Google Scholar]
  40. Xrakovskij, Viktor S
    (2001) Typology of imperative constructions. München: Lincom Europa.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Zafiu, Rodica
    (Forthcoming) Mood, tense and aspect. In Gabriela Pană Dindelegan (ed.) Romanian Grammar: A linguistic introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Commitment; Contingencies; Entitlement; Imperative; Meetings; Romanian
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error