This book focuses on the form and the function of commands--directive speech acts such as pleas, entreaties, and orders--from a typological perspective. A team of internationally-renowned experts in the field examine the interrelationship of these speech acts with cultural stereotypes and practices, as well as their origins and development, especially in the light of language contact.The volume begins with an introduction outlining the marking and the meaning of imperatives and other ways of expressing commands and directives. Each of the chapters that follow offers an in-depth analysis of commands in a particular language. These analyses are cast in terms of 'basic linguistic theory'--a cumulative typological functional framework--and the chapters are arranged and structured in a way that allows useful comparison between them. The languages investigated include Quechua, Japanese, Lao, Aguaruna and Ashaninka Satipo (both from Peru), Dyirbal (from Australia), Zenzontepec Chatino (from Mexico), Nungon, Tayatuk, and Karawari (from Papua New Guinea), Korowai (from West Papua), Wolaitta (from Ethiopia), and Northern Paiute (a native language of the United States).