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date: 16 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The differentiation of clause types in this chapter (declarative, interrogative, imperative, exclamative) is primarily based on morpho-syntactic criteria, but is also motivated by the use of these types for the performance of speech acts, i.e. acts resulting in a change of social situations. Instead of relating the different types directly to a list of speech acts typically performed by them, an attempt is made to characterize their illocutionary potential in terms of a basic meaning. On the basis of this approach the subtypes of the functional clause types and their possible use in specific contexts are characterized in detail. This systematization of the relationship between clause type and possible illocutionary acts is additionally based on the well-known distinction between ‘direct’ and ‘indirect(ly performed)’ speech acts. The chapter concludes with some comparative remarks characterizing the specific properties of English within the Germanic languages family and within a general typology of clause types.

Keywords: declarative, interrogative, imperative, exclamative, illocutionary potential, indirect speech acts, Germanic languages

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