The pa/wa of imperative alternatives


  • Hiroaki Saito
  • Adrian Stegovec



This paper deals with topic markers interacting with discourse information in imperatives.
It compares two topic markers from Slovenian (‘pa’) and Japanese (‘-wa’) and shows
that while they mostly match in terms of the foci they associate with, their functions differ in
imperatives: only ‘pa’ may yield a concessive imperative reading. It is shown that this reading
can be derived while keeping a single entry for ‘pa’ by making attitudes of discourse participants
part of the focus ‘pa’ associates with. The split between Slovenian and Japanese can then be
attributed to minor differences in terms of which foci ‘pa’ and ‘-wa’ may associate with.
Keywords: imperatives, Slovenian, Japanese, alternative semantics, topic markers, focus,
discourse particles, performative modality.





Saito, Hiroaki, und Adrian Stegovec. 2018. „The Pa Wa of Imperative Alternatives“. ZAS Papers in Linguistics 61 (Januar):325-42.