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At 5:39 pm +0100 25/4/99, Fabian wrote:
>
Steg Belsky scripsit:
>>> I can't think of any situation where a true third-person imperative would
>>> be needed that couldn't be redefined (or better defined?) as a
>>> second-person imperative affecting a third person.

Et responsit John Cowan:
>>Consider JFK's inaugural address:  "Let the word go forth from this
>>time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed
>>to a new generation of Americans [...]".  How would you transform
>>this into a natural 2nd-person imperative?
>
>
>Simple. Stick 'you must' on the front.

But "you must" is _not_ an imperative!  It is _indicative_ and the thing
then becomes an affirmative statement: this is what you've got to do....

Furthermore, as John points out:
....
>But it doesn't mean "you must let the word go forth", or "you
>must permit the word to go forth" or "you must cause the word to go
>forth".  On the last supposition, JFK is talking to the TV technicians!

The 'simple' sticking of "you must" in front *changes the meaning*.  One
can argue - fruitlessly IMO - whether 'you' is just TV technicians; but
however you define 'you', it is, and indeed must be, more restrictive than
JFK's original meaning.

In short - putting "you must" in front may be mechanically simple, but the
seemingly small change produces a change both of mood and of meaning.

Consider Marie Antoinette's infamous (and almost certainly apocryphal):
"Qu'ils mangent de la brioche!" ('Let them eat eat cake!' as it
traditionally translated).

Did whoever said that actually mean: "Il faut que vous les laissiez manger
de la brioche." (You must let them eat cake) ?
Hardly!

It seems strange that so very many human languages over the past 3 or 4
millennia as far as we know have equipped themselves with 3rd person
imperatives or jussive constructions (such as the jussive use of the
subjunctive) if it were not needed.

Meanwhile, it has been interesting seeing how conlangs actually do cope
with this  ;)

Ray.