Pinkster, Harm (1942-) [1990], Latin Syntax and Semantics [info], xii, 320 p.: ill.; 24 cm. [word count] [Pinkster].
Previous SubSect

Next SubSect

10.1. Sentence type, illocutionary force, mood: definitions

(a) Sentence type

Examples (1) and (2) contain the same predication. In both instances the predicate facere is construed with a tu (Subject Agent) and a hoc (Object Patient). This predication can be represented as follows:

facere (tu)AgSubj (hoc)PatObj

(1) and (2) differ, however, in `sentence type' (or, in the terms of crosssection 7.1.2, in `modality').

(1) tu hoc facies (`You will do this')

(2) tune hoc facies? (`Will you do this?')

(1) is a declarative sentence, (2) is an interrogative sentence. In English this difference appears from a difference in word order and intonation. In the Latin

-- 190 --

example the difference becomes clear from the presence of the enclitic question particle -ne. In (3) we find the same predication, this time in an imperative sentence with a specific verb form. I return to the criteria used to distinguish these three sentence types in crosssection 10.2.1.

(3) hoc fac (tu) (`(you) do this') [1]

(b) Illocutionary force

A speaker or writer may use the same sentence with different intentions. Example (1), for instance, is first of all an assertion of the speaker/writer with regard to an action that will be realized in the future. The sentence can, however, also be intended as an order. The hearer is supposed to interpret the assertion with regard to his future activities as an order (so-called futurum pro imperativo, see crosssection 10.2.2.2). In this case, we say that (1) has a directive [2] illocutionary force. In other words, the assertion indirectly functions as an order: in this interpretation, (1) is equivalent to (3).

There is a certain relation between sentence type and illocutionary force. Certain illocutionary forces occur more often with certain sentence types than with others. A declarative sentence will usually be interpreted as the assertion of a fact of which the speaker more or less guarantees the validity (or pretends to)-so with an assertive illocutionary force-rather than as a request for information. I return to the ways in which the illocutionary force of a sentence can be made explicit in crosssection 10.2.2.1).

(c) Mood

In a more general sense, `mood' is sometimes used for the phenomena described under (a) and (b), but it is usually used in its more specific sense for the formal characteristics of finite verb forms (indicative, subjunctive, imperative). I use `mood' only in the latter sense. It is a `morphosemantic' verbal category that indicates the speaker's attitude with regard to the content of the predication as a whole (see Sz. 325). In this way, mood may be compared to tense (see chapter 11). Both are characteristics of the predication that are expressed in the finite verb form. There is a certain relation between mood and sentence type. The imperative mood, for instance, practically only occurs in imperative sentences. [3] See table 10.1. Table 10.1.
Mood
↓Sentence typeImperativeSubjunctiveIndicative
Declarative-++
Imperative++-
Interrogative-++

-- 191 --

It is obvious that there is a relation, albeit to a limited degree, between mood and sentence type. For the sentence type also may be viewed as a means to characterize a predication formally in accordance with the speaker's point of view. [4]

(d) The current approach to sentence type, illocutionary force and mood

Most Latin linguists do not distinguish sentence type, illocutionary force and mood. [5] In most Latin grammars what I call `illocutionary force' tends to be described as specific uses of the moods; e.g. the use of example (1) as an indirect order, where the grammars speak of `indicativus futuri proimperativo' (see Sz. 310–1; 326–7). Thus, the occurrence of the subjunctive in sentences with various illocutionary forces leads to a distinction between the use of the subjunctive in orders, exhortations, etc., as if there were different subjunctives. I return to this in crosssection 10.3.

Previous SubSect

Next SubSect


Pinkster, Harm (1942-) [1990], Latin Syntax and Semantics [info], xii, 320 p.: ill.; 24 cm. [word count] [Pinkster].
Powered by PhiloLogic