Pragmatic Aspects of Latvian Predicative Infinitive Constructions
Keywords:infinitive, predicative construction, dative, tense, copula, modality, polarity.
The purpose of this article is to examine Latvian predicative infinitive constructions in a pragmatic aspect, showing that they constitute a special type of pragmatic marking. Unlike such pragmatic markers as particles, conjunctions, adverbs or prosody, predicative infinitive constructions in Latvian are pragmatically functioning as a single unit, i.e., their constructional functionality follows from this unity rather than from separate lexical or grammatical elements. Insofar as they represent a marginal modally marked construction type in Latvian, their use is related to non-neutral, marked registers of the language. Therefore, the article focuses on modal and temporal meanings, as well as polarity of predicative infinitive constructions. As their modal and temporal meanings are closely related to communicative types of utterances, the use of these constructions is restricted to specific text types – warnings, categorical requests and prohibitions, advertisements, headlines in mass media, etc.
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