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Speech Reports: A Cross-Linguistic Perspective

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Chapter Summary

A speech report situation involves at least two speakers - the 'author' of the original speech, and the 'reporter'. A speech report construction contains: (i) the speech report content, (ii) the reporting marker, or 'quote framer', and (iii) a linker between these. Direct and indirect speech are the most straightforward and cross-linguistically frequent speech reports. This chapter discusses the formal differences between the two, and shows that neither is uniform cross-linguistically. Most languages of the world distinguish two multiclausal speech report constructions: direct and indirect speech. A direct speech (also called quote clause, or quote content) lacks the adjustment of personal, temporal and spatial deixis to the narrator's perspective. An indirect speech report is typically a kind of embedded complement clause.

Keywords: cross-linguistic properties; direct speech; indirect speech; speech report

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