A Discursive Analysis of Imperatives in the Bible

Hajar Ghafarpour, Abbass Eslamirasekh


Imperatives are attempts made by a speaker to get a hearer to do something. They get associated with a rather heterogeneous range of speech act types. This paper reports on the result of a discursive study on the use of imperatives in the Bible. They have been divided into two categories of command and prohibition. These categories are themselves divided in terms of degree of intensity into four various speech acts: threat, order, blessing and admonition which are considered as commands on the one hand; and dissuasion, warning, inhibition and deterrence as prohibitions on the other.  It is also of interest to know how many of them are directly or indirectly mentioned. There is a high occurrence of admonition for commands and dissuasion for prohibition which may indicate that the Bible tries to soften imperatives by applying the least intense forms of them.


Discursive Analysis, Imperatives, Bible

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