Forme i funkcije zapovjednih načina u Ciceronovim Pismima / The form and function of commands in Cicero’s Epistles


  • Seada Brkan University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Philosophy



Imperative, subjunctive, command, suggestion, encouragement, care for loved ones, obligation, passive periphrastic construction, future tense


In oral and written communication there exist various linguistic tools by which one tells or asks their interlocuter to do something. In such cases, one most often uses the imperative, even though in different languages there are different ways to attain a goal, i.e., to realize the intention or request of the message sender. In Latin, there existed along with the imperative a mood called the subjunctive through which speakers could express commands or prohibitions, but also suggestions, desires, requests, counsel, or encouragement for the message receiver to complete a certain act. The content mentioned can be expressed using the present (e.g., You are shutting up now!) or the future tenses (e.g., You are going to the library tomorrow!), or with certain periphrastic forms (e.g., This job ought to be finished!). The form, then, does not always correspond with the anticipated content; that is, one type of content can be expressed using various forms. This paper is directed at the observation and analysis of the various forms and functions of commands used by Cicero in his epistles, as well as on their classification according to which of them prevail in individual groups of letters. Along with this, seeing as in some examples ambiguous forms of the imperative are found, whose function is conditioned due to various pragmatic parameters and contextual frameworks, the goal is to also to point out the importance of context and its elements, especially those of a socio-political, cultural or historical environment and the role of participants in the choice, usage, and interpretation of forms of the command.


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How to Cite

Brkan, S. (2022). Forme i funkcije zapovjednih načina u Ciceronovim Pismima / The form and function of commands in Cicero’s Epistles. Journal of BATHINVS Association ACTA ILLYRICA / Godišnjak Udruženja BATHINVS ACTA ILLYRICA Online ISSN 2744-1318, (6), 39–60.