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Final Panorama

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Chapter Summary

This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on the concepts discussed in this book The Semantics of Free Indirect Discourse. The book presents the semantic analysis of free indirect thought and speech in narrative text in German and English. The overall resulting theory offers a tightly knit system of assumptions about contexts, tense forms, aspects, moods and context dependent words that conspire to generate the impression that one can listen to the thoughts and utterances of a protagonist directly, without being alerted by a verbum dicendi. The theory is minimalistic in the sense that each component is motivated by linguistic observations. The theory is capable of detecting and analyzing not only standard examples but also items in language that show nonstandard behavior in indexicality shift. The theory is also comparatively easy to handle and can easily capture different systems of indexicality shifts in other languages (e.g., Russian, Hungarian) or more constructions.

Keywords: English; free indirect speech; German; linguistic observations; narrative text; semantic analysis



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