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Reported speech as enactment

Hodge, G; Cormier, K; (2019) Reported speech as enactment. Linguistic Typology , 23 (1) pp. 185-196. 10.1515/lingty-2019-0008.

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Abstract

We examine the proposal by Spronck and Nikitina (this issue) that the phenomenon known as ‘reported speech’ constitutes a dedicated syntactic domain. This domain is defined as a “dedicated syntactic relation that differs from other sentential syntactic structures”, containing elements which are “primarily conventionalized and conditioned by grammar in a narrower sense”. Their stated goal is to “identify and classify phenomena occurring in the context of reported speech, and to propose benchmarks for establishing reported speech as a cross-linguistic category”. We broadly agree with the definition of reported speech proposed as useful for investigating how specific languages constrain the inference of this particular aspect of meaning via ostensive and inferential communicative acts (LaPolla 2003). The proposed definition enables functional identification of all kinds of reported speech practices while making no assumptions about how these practices formally manifest within different language ecologies. However, we disagree with the case for syntactic exceptionalism, i.e. the category ‘reported speech’ as a dedicated syntactic domain. Our main concern is that this claim downplays important evidence regarding the unified and multimodal ‘semiotic repertoire’ (Kendon 2014; Kusters et al. 2017) available for reporting utterances, thoughts, feelings, attitudes and actions across diverse languages – including deaf signed languages – of which the highly grammaticalised and conventional encoding of reported speech utterances is just one part.

Type: Article
Title: Reported speech as enactment
DOI: 10.1515/lingty-2019-0008
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1515/lingty-2019-0008
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Linguistics
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10075211
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