Embedded Imperatives in Mbyá

Published in Recursion across Domains, 2018

Abstract: This paper discusses the interpretation of embedded imperatives in Mbyá, a Tupí-Guaraní language spoken in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. This paper contributes to the description of recursive structures in Tupí-Guaraní languages, which are well represented in this volume, with contributions by Bonfim Duarte, Damaso Vieira,and Lima and Kayabi. Damaso Vieira gives an inventory of recursive structures in Tupinambá and Mbyá Guaraní, which include recursive embedding of clauses under verbs with sentential complements, recursive embedding of causative morphemes, and recursive possessive marking. Clausal subordination and possessive recursion are also discussed respectively by Bonfim Duarte in Tenetehára and by Lima and Kayabi in Kawaiwete. I argue that the embedding of imperatives in Mbyá is an instance of recursive embedding of ForceP, the projection of a Force head located in the left periphery of the clause, which encodes information that constrains the illocutionary force of utterances of the sentence. The focus of the present study on speech reports and reportative evidentials also makes it relevant to another set of studies in this volume, united by their attention to recursion in the expression of speech and/or attitude reports and composed of the contributions by Hollebrande, Sauerland, Correa et al.and Stenzel.

Guillaume Thomas. 2018. Embedded Imperatives in Mbyá. In Recursion across Domains, edited by Luis Amaral, Marcus Maia and Andrew Nevins, pp. 86-108. Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/9781108290708.007