Imperative Structures: Form and Function in“Oliver Twist”

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Imperative Structures: Form and Function
in“Oliver Twist”
Sawsan Abdul Munem Qassim
Assistant lecturer
University of Diyala
[email protected]
Ban Fakhri Hussein
Assistant lecturer
University of Baghdad
[email protected]
This paper intends to shed the light on the forms of the imperative sentences and
their pragmatic functions in Oliver Twist due to the interactive nature of the events
and the characters of this novel. This novel is found appropriate to fulfill the
purpose of this study.
The results show that the imperatives are commonly used by the characters of this
novel. The base of the verb in particular has a high proportion in this novel. They
have different direct and indirect speech acts. Their functions are not limited to orders
or requests but they have various functions. The meanings of the utterances depend to
a great degree on the context, i.e. on the situation in which these utterances occur and
on the intended meaning of the speaker. It is concluded that the imperative utterances
are better be analyzed pragmatically.
Imperative Structures: Form and Function
In "Oliver Twist”
Oliver Twist is written by Charles Dickens. He describes England on 19th.centurey. It
reflects pictures of the social life at that time. The sordid society of the gang is
reflected not only by the description of the scenes and the characters, but especially
by the language used among the character of the novel. For that reason, an interest in
studying the language of the novel is aroused, and one aspect of studying the
language is the study of the imperative utterance there.
This paper deals with the imperatives from two perspectives, form and function. The
novel “Oliver Twist “is analyzed according to these two perspectives. It is hypnotized
that to analyze the use of the imperatives in a novel or in any other type of utterances
one should rely more on pragmatics than on syntactic or semantic approaches. Many
of the utterances do not reflect their related moods, but different illocutionary forces.
What matters is the intended functions of these utterances not their explicit forms.
Analyzing the whole imperative utterances of Oliver Twist from these two
perspectives, it is noticed that the function of many of the imperative utterances are
not commands or orders, but they communicate various other functions so an eclectic
model is adopted. In addition, there is the variance between the form and the function
of some of the utterances.
The main aim of this paper is to show the importance of depending on pragmatics in
analyzing texts as novels. Analyzing from syntactic and semantic perspectives will
not be sufficient in reflecting the real intended functions of the used imperatives. So it
is believed that a pragmatic analysis will be a significant one to complement an
analysis of any discourse.
1-What is an imperative?
Etymology: from Latin , imperative means ”command” ( internet 1)
Crystal(1991:171) argues that the term “imperative” is used as a noun and as an
adjective in the grammatical classification of the sentence types, and usually seen in
contrast with indicative , interrogative, etc. Crystal (2004:227) remarks that an
imperative usage (an imperative) refers to verb forms or sentence, clause types
typically used in the expression of command, e.g. Go away .
Formally , imperative clauses as Biber et al (1999:219) comment are characterized
by the lack of a subject , the use of the base form of the verb , and the absence of
modals as well as tense and aspect markers as in :
Get off the table.
Don’t forget about the deposit.
Biber et al (ibid) give the reason that an imperative typically urges the addressee to do
something ( or not to do something) after the moment of speaking ; hence there is no
need for tense , aspect or modal specification.
As for Swan (2005: xxiv-245) he thinks that affirmative imperatives have the same
form as the infinitive without to; negative imperatives are constructed with do not
(don’t)+infinitive. He also comments that in sentences like Come here , Be quiet ,
Have a drink , or Don’t worry about it , those verb forms as come , be , have and
don’t worry are called “imperatives”.
Bernard (1986:172) gives a short definition about the imperative. He describes the
term as the mood of a clause expressing a command, e.g.” Tell us about our son”.
Oxford Word Power Dictionary (1999:381) probably follows Bernard in that
imperative is the form of the verb that is used for giving orders in “Shut the door”.
The verb is in the imperative. Similarly,Buscemi et al (2004: 466) state that the
imperative mood communicates a command or a request.
“Stop!” ordered by the police officer.
"Please return all the books promptly ."
They give a note that in the sentences using the imperative, the subject you is
understood. When an imperative sentence gives an order, makes a request or provides
instruction, typically an exclamation mark is used (!) .Otherwise a period (.) is used
to end an imperative sentence.( internet 1)
Get out of the way!
Please pass the mustard.
Turn right at the stop light , and drive up the hill.
2-Imperative and statement
Before showing the forms of the imperative utterances, some of the differences and
similarities between the imperatives and the statements should be noted. The most
common category that could be differentiated between imperative commands from
statements is offered by Quirk et al (1985:200) and ( internet 2) in that
It has no subject
It has an imperative finite verb ( the base form of the verb without ending for
number or tense)
Quirk and Greenbaum (1973:200) list some similarities between imperatives and
statements in that
jump ( V)
S V C : Be reasonable (V C )
S V O A : Put it on the table ( V Od A place)
3-Imperative Form Structures:
Concerning the form of the imperative structures, many linguists discuss this subject,
Murphy &Smalzar (2002: 74) argue that the base form of verbs such as(come/go/do/wait
/be etc.) can be used to tell someone to do something I don’t want to talk to you. Go
Biber et al (1999:219) indicate that the addressee in imperative clauses is sometimes
specified in the form of a subject or more commonly as a vocative as in
You go home and go to sleep
Don’t you dare talk to me like that clear, I‘ve had enough.
Melissa, take those things away.
The imperative, e.g. Wait here, might be addressed to one person or several
persons(Alexander (1997:185) states that you is added to get the attention of the
person. However, Alexander (ibid: 185-186) shows the following ways used in an
imperative to attract the attention of a person or of the people spoken to:
1- You + imperative
You wait here for a moment.
Intonation or stress is important here to clarify the meaning
2- You or names(s) + you :
You wait here, Jim and Mary, you wait here.
3- Imperative + name or name + imperative:
Drink up your milk, Sally! Or Sally, drink up your milk!
4- Imperative + reflexive
Enjoy yourself.
5- Everybody ,somebody with imperative:
Everybody keep quiet! Keep still everybody!
To express negative imperatives, Praniniskas (1975:257) points out that a negative
verb phrase may be made in the usual way or with the frequency word never. Never
neglect your eyes.To neglect 2nd. and 3rd. person, Quirk &Greenbaum (1973:202)
suggest that initial Don’t can be added , such as :
Don’t open any window.
Don’t you open the door?
Don’t anyone open the door.
Quirk (ibid) also adds that 1st. person imperative, on the other hand, have two
Let’s open the door: Let’s not open the door.
Don’t let’s open the door (informal especially in British English)
Swan (1995:255) argues that some languages have a first person imperative form
(used to suggest that “I” or “we” should do something). English does not have this,
but there is a structure with let+ infinitive that has a similar meaning. Let us is
contracted to let’s except in a very formal style.
Let me see, do I need to go shopping today?
Regarding the form of imperative, Swan(2005:306-307) states that Let is followed by
an infinitive without to
Let is followed by an object + infinitive without two.
We usually let the children stay up late on Saturdays.
Let is not used in passive forms: allow is preferred.
After questioning, he was allowed to go home.
With object+ preposition /adverb particle
Let can be followed by an object and a preposition phrase or adverb particle
expressing movement.
You’d better let the door out of the car.
Murphy &Smalzer (2002:74) indicate that let’s not is the negative of let, as in
It’s cold. Let’s not go out. Let’s stay home.
Swan (1995:87) adds another form for imperative he states that parents often use the
structure be+ infinitive to give orders when speaking to children .
You are to do your homework before you watch TV.
4-Imperative Functions
One might observe the fact that nearly all the world’s languages have three basic
sentences-types: imperative, interrogative and declarative (Sadock and Zwicky cited
in Levinson, 1983:40).These three types of sentences are assumed to be used for
ordering , questioning and asserting . But this in fact limits the various functions that
might be attributed to the use of these three types of sentences (see Chalker (1989:1113), Aitchison( 1999;99,100) Akmajian, Lober (2002:104-193),
Radford et al.(2007:22,97,269) .
Mey (1993:48) states that “linguistic functions of use are best studied in situations
where people interact normally, using language face to face”. He adds (ibid: 73) that
how close the person is and how much the social distance is between the interlocutors
are decisive points in using ‘bald’ imperatives.
Imperatives for example are not usually used to give orders or requests in English.A
long list could be constructed of the ways of indirectly requesting an addressee to
shut the door (Searle, 1975 cited in Levinson, 1983:264-7):
I want you to close the door.
Can you close the door?
Would you close the door?
Would you mind closing the door?
You ought to close the door.
May I ask you to close the door?
Did you forget the door?
From the above mentioned examples, it is noticed that not any one of them are forms
of imperatives, but nevertheless all of them are used as requests to close the door
.That is to say , that all of them are asking the addressee to do an act for the speaker ,
and this is what defines the imperative utterance. In addition, one should keep in
mind Mey’s points of closeness and social distance between the interlocutors that
would determine to a degree the type of the imperative utterance that would be used.
Searle (1969:66) proposes a set of felicity conditions for describing the orders . He
remarks that orders have:
1. Propositional content: The speaker predicates a future act of the hearer.
2. Preparatory condition:
The hearer is able to do the action.
The speaker believes that the hearer is able to do the action.
The speaker in a position of authority over the hearer.
3. Sincerity: The speaker wants the hearer to do it.
Essential: The utterance counts as an attempt to get the hearer to do the
action in virtue of the speaker’s authority.
What is meant by an imperative sentence is best be viewed by what its function is,
and that depends on its use in context and to look for the intended meaning of the
speaker. That is to say, to understand the sentence from a pragmatic perspective.
Searle states (1979: 13) that imperatives and interrogatives perform directive speech
acts which are “attempts to get the hearer to do something”. The propositional
content of these acts represents a future action of the hearer. Imperatives are requests
for action, while interrogatives are requests for information .That why there are cases
of inquiring that are considered as imperatives since we want from the hearer to do
the act of informing us about something. Another classification is made by Bach and
Harnish (1979:47). He distributes the imperatives into six types:
1. Requisites: (ask, beg, invite, request, supplicate)
2. Requirements:(command, order, instruct)
3. Permissives: (allow, permit, pardon)
4. Advisories: (advise, recommend, warn, suggest)
5. Questions: (ask, require)
6. Prohibitives:(prohibit, forbid)
As could be seen that ask is considered one of the imperative functions.These are
possible function that can be attributed to the imperative utterances. It is obvious that
they are not restricted to orders, commands or requests. Another list of the imperative
functions is made by Alexander (1997:185) . They are:
a- Orders and Requests :
Clean the room.
Please , clean the room.
b- Warning
Stop talking. They will hear you.
c- Directions
Turn left then drive straight forward.
d- Instructions
Click on the program icon
e- Prohibitions and Public Notices
Don't smoke here.
f- Advice
Go home if you feel sick.
g- Invitations
Come tomorrow and meet my new friends.
h- Offers
Have a drink.
i- Expressing Rudeness
Shut up.
Leech (1983:117) remarks that “Any pragmatic generalization about the use of
imperatives has to be broad enough to cover utterances as: Have a good time(good
wishes)Help yourself (offer);Make yourself at home(invitation); Be whole (faithhealing);Go to hell(curse);Say that again, and I’ll hit you(threat).” He adds that they
all share somehow the common ground of “present the propositional content as a
candidate for fulfillment by hearer”.
5-Data Analysis
The task of this study, is to analyze The forms of the imperative utterances in the
novel ‘Oliver Twist’ and to show the different functions of these forms .Hence these
forms are analyzed according to Alexander's model which are composed of six
components. The percentage of every type of the imperative utterances are given in
table (II) to show how much a certain form is used more than the others which would
be related eventually to the events and characters of the novel.
In Diagram (1), the functions of the imperatives are illustrated. They have been
determined by depending on their contexts. The functions of many examples of the
imperative utterances taken from ‘Oliver Twist’ are mentioned to show that
imperatives do not reflect orders or commands only but many different functions that
are influenced to a great degree by the context. An eclectic model is adopted to
analyze the functions of the imperative utterances because no previous model seems
appropriate to be used for the analysis. So some of the functions proposed by Bach
and Harnish (1979 ) ,Leech (1983 ) and Alexander (1997 ) are selected to apply on
the novel.
5-1-Analysis of The imperative Forms
-------------------------------------------------The analysis of the imperative form structure will be according to
Alexander's model which is composed of :
1-The base of v.
2-Phrasal verb
3-Don't + base
4-Addressing somebody (vocative)
5-Let structures
6-Imperative+ tag question
The following table shows the frequency of every form and its percentage to the
whole number of the imperatives used in the novel.
Table (I):The Frequency of The Forms of the Imperative Structures
Forms of the
Base (v.)
Phrasal (v.)
Don't + base
imperative structures
+ tag question
The base of the verb represents a high percentage in the corpus. They form 34.73% of
the whole used imperative utterances. The subject is usually omitted, but understood
from the context to refer to the addressee.
Also this novel shows a high percentage of the use of phrasal verbs than other
structures of imperatives especially activity verbs such as get up, get down , look at ,
listen to. They are commonly used by the characters of the novel.
Table II : The Frequency of The Forms of The Imperatives in Data
The base percentage Phrasal
(v.) 58
percentage Don’t +
(v.) 55
Get down
percentage Let 14
percentage Vocatives 19
base (v.) 18
Don’t say
question 3
Let me
Come in ,
do you
Don’t hurt
Let me
Get down
stairs ,little
Get up
Don’t talk
Let us
Come.., Noah
Hand it
Hold your
will you?
Stand aside
Don’t speak 11.11%
Let me
Get up
Stand on
Don’t let
Let me
Please, tell
Turn out
Don’t make
Let ‘s
Go back
Lie down
Don’t be
Look at him,
Come in
Lie down,you
me ,sir
home, boy
stupid dog
Tell me
Leave me
Don’t get
Give him..,
Don’t be
afraid, boy
Look at
Don’t move
Do tell
Hand over
Don’t come
Show , Toby
Don’t be
fright ,Miss
Keep back
Don’t worry,
Stand off
Oliver, give..
Come in
Don’t get in a
temper, my
Lie down
Don’t move,
Put down
Have a seat ,
Hurry up
Listen then,
Ms. Melliy
over, will
Open –
Treat –
Tell –
Put away
Listen to
Send out
Kill –
Follow –
Speak –
Look into
Fill in
Wait –
Add put
Cast back
Get away
Tell ,
Put out
Get up
Speak to
5-2-Analysis of the Functions of the imperatives
Analyzing the functions of the imperative utterances of the novel, it is noticed that
orders are highly used more than the other functions. In the following diagram the
rates of the functions of the imperatives of Oliver Twist are illustrated.
Diagram I
As can be seen , the orders are the highest . Then the requests followed the orders in
getting the second rank .The other functions are comparatively used less than the
orders or requests .
The reason for the highest rate of the orders in this novel maybe attributed to the
nature of the general conversations among the characters of the novel. Many of the
conversa-tions take place between the members of the gang and Oliver. Generally,
orders which are said directly and impolitely ,are commonly used towards Oliver as
in the following examples:
“There! Get downstairs, little bag of bones”
“ Come with me “
“Come ,get up”
Requests are also commonly used. What is expected from the interlocutors who are in
power is orders. The interlocutors who are not in a position to order use requests
generally. For that reason , it is perceived that the characters who are confronting
those who are in power
use the imperatives as requests . As in the following
“ Leave him alone.”
“ Hush , don’t speak so loud “
“ Keep back your dog, Bill”
Other functions are attributed to the imperative utterances just like beseeching ,
inviting , threatening , inquiring , advising ,warning, instructing , Expressing rudeness
, suggesting and drawing attention. These functions’ meanings are understood while
studied in their contexts. As in the following examples:
Inviting: “ Come near the fire , Noah.”
“Have a seat , Miss Maylie”
“ Sit down , “ said Rose . “ If you need money or if you ‘re in trouble, I’ll be glad to
help you. Sit down.”
Threatening :“Speak out ,boy”
“ Get away from here as fast as you can.”
“ Listen to me” shouted the Jew angrily.”If Sikes ever comes back and
leaves the boy behind him, if he fails to bring the boy back to me,
then consider him dead…”
Advising : “ Make these two boys your model , and take their advice in all matters ..”
“ Don’t get in a temper ,my dear “
“Put the boy away and let's leave”
Instructing: “ Take them to the bookshop and give them to the man in charge and
pay him four pounds ten shillings” .
“ Tell them to fetch a coach.”
“ Drag him into the street , call the police and let them arrest him as a criminal.”
Beseeching: “Don’t let the dog tear down the child , unless you kill me first.”
“ I won’t scream .Hear me…Speak to me…tell me what I have done.”
“ Bill , let me go. For only one hour.”
Warning :” Be careful ,Oliver! Bill Sikes is a rough man, and thinks nothing of blood
when he is angry…”
“ Hold your tongue“
“ Look here , you three,”
Drawing attention:”Listen”
“Look at him”
Suggesting:“ Let’s part .”
“ Let me have a word with you”
“ Put your head out of the window”
Expressing Rudeness : “ Strike them”
“ Damn you”
“ Curse you”
Inquiring :“ Come , tell me. What do you mean by leaving me in this state for three
weeks …”
“So you wanted to run away, did you?”
Another point to be highlighted is that the form does not necessarily conform with the
function. There are many declarative sentences that express imperative functions such
“ Bill, please ,Bill .You cannot have the heart to kill me .”
Here Nancy is beseeching Bill . As if to say “ Please, don’t Kill me “. She used a
declarative sentence to express an imperative function which is beseeching , but here
she didn’t express it directly .
“ You can leave your companions”.
Mr.Brownlow is suggesting to Nancy the idea of leaving her companions instead of
saying directly “ Leave your companions.”, and it can also be advising her .
“ You must be very quiet, or you will be ill again,”
This declarative sentence functions as an advice.
“ if that happens, things will be worse for you than for me , dear.”
In this declarative sentence , the Jew warns or threats Bill Sikes in an indirect way .So
it is considered as an imperative because its implicit meaning is either “ I warn you”
or “ I threaten you “.
“Well, somebody must find out what has happened at the magistrate’s office,”. This
means that you ( the listeners maybe ) must go and find out what has happened.
Also some of the interrogative sentences in the novel express different imperative
functions. Understanding these functions depends on finding the intended meaning of
the utterances and on the context. By these two elements, the reader can detect the
implicit meaning of the utterances. The researchers looked not only for direct
imperatives , but also for the indirect ones depending on studying the events of the
novel and sometimes on the descriptions given by the writer as in the following
examples :
“Will she go with me , sir?”
Here Oliver is not asking a question , but he is supposed to be requesting indirectly .
“ Any news ?” this question is a request for information as if , please , tell me .
Directives such as commands, orders, requests and suggestions are those kinds of
speech acts that the speakers use to get someone else to do something. They express
what the speaker wants.
Well ,Wait till Bill tells you.
Be careful, Oliver
Say nothing, and do what he tells you.
In the above examples, the addressee is Oliver and the Jew orders Oliver to follow his
instructions and to be careful.
The basic functions of all the utterances (get up ,…) in the following examples are
orders. They represent direct speech acts. These phrasal verbs often occur as
directives. Such as :
Get up and come with me.
Stand aside.
Stand on your legs, young devil.
The structure of (don't) be +adjective is used in imperatives to avoid doing something
that might be considered wrong or bad for the speaker .(Be/don’t be) describe the
adjective or the behavior that the addressee should not do.
Don’t be afraid, Oliver. You shall come back to us.
The Jew advises Oliver not to be afraid .Being afraid is considered wrong in his
opinion. He pacifies Oliver that he will come back to them .
Normally, be is used without the auxiliary do, but do is used here to make negative
imperative sentence with be to tell somebody not to do something.
In informal style, people sometimes use don’t + the base of the v. or do not is used
mainly in public notices ,e.g. Do not smoke! It is used to prevent somebody from
doing something.
Don’t make such a noise!
In this situation, Sikes roughly warn Toby to be quiet and not to do any noise
However, many uses the imperatives in directing orders , making suggestions and in
variant other purposes. Stress , intonation , gestures ,facial expressions, situation and
context , may indicate whether the use of the imperatives is either friendly, angrily ,
impatiently ,persuasively ,etc.
A special type of the imperative clauses is found with the verb Let .In some of the
conversations of this novel, let is used with the first person plural pronoun (us) which
is usually contracted to (let’s).It is not widely used in this novel.
Let’s part. All I ask from you is to leave me and let me go my way alone.
Here the speaker is beseeching the addressee.
Open the main door and let us in
Let’s or let us can be used by the speaker to make suggestions or to give orders.This
matter depends so much on the nature of the relation between the interlocutors. In
addition , the context usually play an important role in determining the function of the
used imperative.
Please, listen to me :said Rose and let me help you.
Let me is used here as an advice.
Oh, for God’s sake, let me go! cried Oliver
Let me go and die in the field…
Let me go: said Nancy and sat down on the floor.
Again the function of the imperatives in the above mentioned examples are begging
or beseeching.
Let can be followed by an object and a prepositional phrase or adverb particle
expressing movement as in the following examples:
Let me out , he shouted. Don’t speak to me.
It is not safe .Let me out, I say!
Such type of illocutionary act uttered with a high tone differs from the previous ones
.They function here as threats .The difference between these utterances are attributed
to the difference in pragmatic aspects which are context and the intention of the
Vocatives are another kind of the imperative structures used in the conversations of
the novel. The imperative does not usually have a subject, but a noun that could be
used to make it clear to whom we are speaking. Vocatives can be freely placed either
at the beginning or at the end of the clause as the following example:
Make a bow to the gentleman Oliver.
Come , I know you. Stand on your legs, young devil.
Here Oliver, young devil are addressed to emphasize the order.
You before an imperative can suggest an emphatic persuasion or anger.
You find him , that’s all. I shall know.
Using you in the above example frequently expresses strong irritation and
Sometimes , vocatives may be added to soften or to sharpen the commands .This
depends on the used epithets or names. So sometimes they are used as mitigating
devices to soften the direct order , and sometimes they are used as insulting or
ridiculing devices used by the speaker to terrify the hearer and control him , as could
be seen in the following examples:
Lie down , you stupid dog.
Listen then! You!
The politeness marker ‘please’ is sometimes used by the speaker to soften the effect
of the order . Also the effect of adding some words such as ‘just’ makes the
imperative seem less demanding and easier to comply with. This kind of devices is
very rare in this novel due to the relationships between most of the characters of the
Please, send them back.
Please , tell me , Sir.
Sometimes, tag questions are used as imperatives such as will you? , won’t you? , can
you? Can’t you? These tag questions are used usually to soften the orders. They are
called mitigating devices.
Come! Hand it over, will you?
Hold your tongue, will you?
In the above examples , it is noticed that the imperatives are mitigated by the addition
of the tag will you , but it is hardly used in speaking to a superior.
In some situations, these tags do not soften the order , but they function to make the
orders precise and insistent.
Say what I tell you !will you ?
With the imperatives, the speaker directly addresses the listener as a means of
expressing your needs. These direct forms are technically described as being on
record. Using the imperative forms such as “ Put your head out of the window“ is
known as bald on record. Since the other person is directly asked to do something.
Direct commands as bald on record may be considered appropriate among social
equals .Nevertheless , these expressions are associated with the speech events where
the speaker assumes that he has power over the other.
Some imperatives are followed by ‘ and’ and another imperative .This structure is
called double imperatives.
Get up and come with me .
This double imperative followed by and or or can have a meaning similar to an ifclause .This type of illocutionary act of threat is mainly represented by the use of coordinate sentences, although such sentences have no conditional article but this form
is uttered to indicate the speaker's intention to do something Such as:
Keep quiet, or I’ll quiet you for a long time to come…
The coordinate clause above expresses a conditional relationship. It means,if you
don’t keep quiet, I’ll quiet you .
Sometimes the imperative mood is misused, and thus the imperatives may become
impolite, inappropriate or even offensive in certain circumstances. Commonly,
politeness norms prompt people to express indirect imperatives as an invitation or a
request and not as orders as in the following examples taken from the novel:
Could you come
Will you go along with me Oliver?
I beg you to stop .
Can I have a few words with you Rose?
6-Analysis of the Findings:
The study has come up with the following points:
1-The base of the verbs as come, give, stop etc. are the most common form of
imperatives used by the characters . They represent 34.73% of the corpus .This kind
of verbs express direct command and direct speech act to ask the hearer to perform
the action.
2-There is a great tendency for the characters to use the phrasal verbs like lie down,
get up, listen to .These verbs have 32.39% of the total number of the imperatives in
this novel .This type of command is used to convey anger, aggression ,or irritation of
the speaker towards the hearer.
3-Don’t +the base form 10.77% in the corpus. This percentage is relatively high. The
obvious function of this structure is to give orders, warnings, threats and to urge the
hearer to follow the speaker instructions.
4-The frequent use of vocative is 11.37% of the total imperatives .This form is used in
the characters' conversations for the purpose of monitoring the actions. The pronoun
you are uttered by the characters at the beginning or at the end of the sentences to
indicate emphatic threat or anger usually with high tone. This type is occasionally
manipulated to insult the hearer.
5-The imperative structure let us is rarely used . Its rate is 8.38% .Let has more than
one communicative functions in this novel to express the intended meaning of the
speaker .sometimes it is used to make suggestion or for begging and beseeching.
6- Generally ,imperative +Tag question represents a very low percentage , only
1.79% . This type like will you ?Could you ?Usually used to soften the command but
in this novel the speaker attempt to threaten and to use his authority and hardness
against the hearer.
7-Concerning the functions of the imperatives of the novel , it is noticed that orders'
rate is higher than the rates of the other imperative functions , and this is due to the
nature of the events and the character of the novel. Requests' rate is the second.
8-There are different functions attributed to the imperative utterances such as
(invitation ,advice , inquiry, beseeching, warning ,threat .
9- Many imperative functions are not reflected in imperative forms. That means
functions don't necessarily conform to forms.
After analyzing all of the imperative utterances of the novel Oliver Twist, the
researchers have reached to the following conclusions:
1- Imperative utterances are not necessarily reflected in imperative sentences .Many
of the imperatives are expressed in declaratives or interrogatives .Sometimes, it is
even expressed in a phrase or a single word as in the example taken from the novel
“In a word" .
2- Many of the imperative utterances function not as commands or orders. Different
speech acts are attributed to the imperatives such as requesting, begging,
beseeching, beckoning, advising, warning, threatening, etc.
3- Because of the nature of the events of the novel and the characters, it is noticed that
direct orders are commonly used than indirect ones because the later are more
polite than the direct. Most of the imperative utterances of the novel are used
among the members of the gang towards Oliver or the others. So the language
reflects the nature of the sordid society. Whenever the orders move to indirectness,
the more they move to politeness.
4- It is remarked that many of the imperatives mention the name of the person(s) or
an attribution of it at the end of the utterance. This type of the imperatives softens
or mitigates the orders as for example " Bring it ,my dear". Nevertheless, there are
cases when mentioning the name at the end is used to emphasize or strengthen the
force of the orders such as " Speak out, boy".
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-------Oxford Word power Dictionary. (1999) .Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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‫‪www.E:\internet files\imperative sentence.difinition and examples of imperative‬‬
‫‪sentences in English,mht‬‬
‫‪www.E:\internet files\imperative mood –wikpedia,the free encyclopedia.mht‬‬
‫‪www.Fill:\\\E:\internet files\what are “imperatives”learnEnglish,htm‬‬
‫ﻣﻠﺨﺺ اﻟﺒﺤﺚ‬
‫ﺗﮭﺪف اﻟﺪراﺳﺔ اﻟﺤﺎﻟﯿﺔ اﻟﻰ ﺗﻮﺿﯿﺢ اﺷﻜﺎل ﻓﻌﻞ ااﻻﻣﺮ ووﻇﺎﺋﻔﮫ اﻟﺘﺪاوﻟﯿﺔ ﻓﻲ رواﯾﺔ اوﻟﯿﻔﺮ ﺗﻮﯾﺴﺖ ﻧﻈﺮا ﻟﻄﺒﯿﻌﺔ‬
‫اﻟﺮواﯾﺔ ﻓﻲ ﺳﺮد اﻻﺣﺪاث واﻟﺘﻔﺎﻋﻞ اﻟﺪراﻣﻲ ﻟﺸﺨﺼﯿﺎﺗﮭﺎ ﺣﯿﺚ وﺟﺪ ﻓﻲ ھﺬه اﻟﺮواﯾﺔ ﻋﻤﻼ ﻣﻨﺎﺳﺒﺎ ﻟﺘﺤﻘﯿﻖ اﻟﮭﺪف‬
‫اﻟﻤﻨﺸﻮد ﻣﻦ اﻟﺘﺤﻠﯿﻞ‬
‫ﺗﻮﺻﻠﺖ اﻟﺪراﺳﺔ اﻟﻰ ان ﺷﺨﺼﯿﺎت اﻟﺮواﯾﺔ ﺗﺴﺘﺨﺪم اﺳﻮب اﻻﻣﺮ وﺑﻜﺜﺮة ﺧﺎﺻﺔ اﺻﻞ اﻟﻔﻌﻞ ) ‪( the base‬‬
‫واﻟﺬي ﯾﺸﻜﻞ ﻧﺴﺒﺔ ﻋﺎﻟﯿﺔ ﻓﻲ ھﺬه اﻟﻤﺴﺮﺣﯿﺔ ﻣﻘﺎرﻧﺔ ﺑﺎﺷﻜﺎل اﻟﻔﻌﻞ اﻻﺧﺮىﻜﻤﺎ وﺗﻮﺻﻠﺖ اﻟﺪراﺳﺔ اﻟﻰ ان اﺳﻠﻮب‬
‫اﻻﻣﺮ ﯾﻤﺜﻞ اﻟﻔﺎﻇﺎ ﺑﻼﻏﯿﺔ ﻋﺪﯾﺪة ﻣﺜﻞ اﻟﻄﻠﺐ واﻻﻗﺘﺮاح واﻟﺘﮭﺪﯾﺪ واﻟﺴﻤﺎح‪...‬اﻟﺦ ﺣﯿﺚ ﯾﻌﺘﻤﺪ اﻟﻤﻌﻨﻰ اﻟﻌﺎم ﻟﻠﻤﺘﺤﺪث‬
‫ﻟﮭﺬه اﻻﻟﻔﺎظ وﺑﺸﻜﻞ ﻛﺒﯿﺮ ﻋﻠﻰ اﻟﺴﯿﺎق اﻟﻌﺎم ﻟﻠﺠﻤﻠﺔ وﺣﺎﻟﺔ اﻟﻤﺘﺤﺪث اﺿﺎﻓﺔ اﻟﻰ ﻧﺒﺮة ﺻﻮﺗﮫ وھﺬا ﯾﺆﻛﺪ ﻓﺮﺿﯿﺔ‬
‫ﻛﻮن اﺳﻠﻮب اﻻﻣﺮ ﻣﻦ اﻻﻓﻀﻞ ان ﯾﺤﻠﻞ ﻣﻦ اﻟﻨﺎﺣﯿﺔ اﻟﺘﺪاوﻟﯿﺔ‪.‬‬

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