Q: Reported Speech

Vidhyanath Rao rao.3 at OSU.EDU
Tue Apr 24 13:21:05 UTC 2001

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As usual, I am slow; but I hope not too late.

I didn't see anyone mention van der Wurff, "Sequences of tenses in
English and Bengali", in "Reported speech" (Ed) Janssen and van der

BTW, this volume defines reported speech as all communications of a
speech to a third party, whether direct, indirect, `free indirect'
[which seems to go by a large number of terms] etc. I am not sure if
this the meaning in the original question or whether `reported speech'
meant only `indirect' speech.

The two papers cited so far as well as the introductory papers in the
respective volumes raise a number of interesting theoretical issues. In
particular the usual viewpoint in grammars is that one can either report
the ``exact words'' of the speakers or have indirect speech with all the
shifts of the languages of Western Europe. But languages seem to occupy
the whole continuum between two two extremes. It will be interesting to
locate Indian languages in this continuum.

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