LINGUIST List 11.265

Mon Feb 7 2000

Qs: Conclusions & Premises,Imperatives with 'You'

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  1. Marianne J. Washburn, Conclusion and Premise Indicators
  2. Kevin R. Gregg, English Imperatives with Overt 'You'

Message 1: Conclusion and Premise Indicators

Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2000 14:06:34 -0800
From: Marianne J. Washburn <>
Subject: Conclusion and Premise Indicators

A friend of mine is working on a logic text and he posed
the following question:

Do all languages have 'conclusion indicators'(in English:
therefore, thus, so, consequently, it follows that) and
'premise indicators' (in English: because, since, for the
reason that)?

And more specifically: does Chinese have those words?

Information about any language is appreciated.

Marianne Washburn
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Message 2: English Imperatives with Overt 'You'

Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 12:19:12 +0900
From: Kevin R. Gregg <>
Subject: English Imperatives with Overt 'You'

The other day a student asked for my judgment of imperatives of the form
 You don't be silly!
as opposed to 
 Don't be silly!

After 20 years as an expat, my native intuitions aren't what they used to
be, if they ever were, but I felt no hesitation in asterisking it. My
question is, Why? Groping for an explanation the way one does before a
student, I thought it might be related to the stativeness of the specific
example--for instance, I find, say,
 You don't kick that pigeon!
OK, or at least significantly more acceptable than 
 *You don't be silly!

On the other hand, a native English-speaking linguist of my acquaintance
(and not an expat) reports that he finds all examples he could think up of
negative You-imperatives unacceptable.

In any case, whether or not his or my intuitions are at all
representative of English-speakers, I can't think of why there should be
such a constraint, if indeed there is. Any ideas? References? 
Conflicting intuitions? I'd be grateful for any. And of course I'll be
happy to summarize the responses, if there's anything summarizable.

Kevin R. Gregg
Momoyama Gakuin University
(St. Andrew's University)
1-1 Manabino, Izumi
Osaka 594-1198 Japan 0725-54-3131 (ext. 3622)
fax. 0725-54-3202
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