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What is a command?



Here are two senses for command:

  1. A command is an illocutionary act that has the directive illocutionary point of getting another to do or not to do something.
  2. A command is a syntactic sentence type in a language that is used primarily to express such illocutionary acts, and is described as having imperative form.

The meaning for the term command does not appear to extend to such utterances as It’s hot in here. This utterance might have the intended perlocutionary effect of getting the addressee to open a window, but it does not have that as a directive illocutionary point.

Examples (English)
  • Turn off the radio, please.
  • Would you turn off the radio?
  A command is a kind of

Hartmann and Stork 1972 41


Crystal 1985 55

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