This book is an introduction to the relationship between the morphosyntactic properties of sentences and their associated illocutionary forces or force potentials. The volume begins with several chapters dedicated to important theoretical and methodological issues, such as sentence and utterance meaning, illocutionary force, clause types, and cross-linguistic comparison. The bulk of the book is then composed of chapter-length case studies that systematically
investigate typologically prominent clause types and their forces, such as declaratives and assertions, interrogatives and questions, and imperatives and commands. These case studies begin with an overview of the necessary theoretical foundations, followed by a discussion of the grammatical structures of
English, and an assessment of the relevant cross-linguistic facts. Each chapter ends with a succinct summary of the most important findings, practice exercises, and recommendations for further reading and research. Overall, the book works towards developing a gradient model of clause types that goes substantially beyond the traditional distinction between major and minor clause types. It draws on insights from linguistics, philosophy, and sociology, and may be used as a textbook for
undergraduate or graduate courses in semantics, pragmatics, and morphosyntax.
Peter Siemund has been Professor of English Linguistics at the University of Hamburg since 2001. He pursues a cross-linguistic typological approach in his work on reflexivity and self-intensifiers, pronominal gender, interrogative constructions, speech acts and clause types, argument structure, tense and aspect, varieties of English, and language contact. His many publications include, as author, Pronominal Gender in English: A Study of English Varieties from a Cross-Linguistic Perspective (Routledge, 2008) and Varieties of English: A Typological Approach (CUP 2013), and, as editor, Linguistic Universals and Language Variation (Mouton de Gruyter 2011) and Foreign Language Learning in Multilingual Classrooms (with Andreas Bonnet; John Benjamins 2017).