Reported Speech and Represented Speech

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    All languages have indexical words and/or grammatical categories (e.g. "I," "you," "this," "that," the past tense marker -ed) for grounding speech in the situation where it is being used. All languages also have ways of representing another speech situation within the immediate one through the use of reported speech. Its most basic form, which is found in all languages, is direct discourse, in which the indexical grounding of the reported utterance is imported into the reporting one (e.g. "He said 'I'll go'"). Many languages also have forms of indirect discourse, in which the indexical grounding is shifted to that of the reporting speech situation (e.g. "He said he would go"). Often the shift is only partial, resulting in intermediate varieties between direct and indirect. There is also free indirect discourse, in which the speaker represents the speech of another without any explicit indication of that fact. Free indirect discourse shades off into the more general phenomenon of "voice," which has been much explored by linguistic anthropologists under the influence of Michael Bakhtin. Here I present examples of all these phenomena in various languages of the world and relate them to other aspects of culture and social life.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe International Encyclopedia of Linguistic Anthropology
    Editors James Stanlow
    Place of PublicationUnited States
    PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons, Inc
    ISBN (Print)9781118924396
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


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