[Lingtyp] Quotations of speech vs. quotations of thoughts

Spronck, Stef stef.spronck at helsinki.fi
Sat Jan 6 18:49:16 UTC 2018

Hi Denys,

At the risk of simply restating the two previous responses: I think that given the polyfunctionality and high frequency of quotative indexes not derived from verbs of speech crosslinguistically (as Ekkehard points out), we should be careful to gloss a quotative index as 'say', rather than give it a more generic gloss, unless there is construction-independent evidence for a 'say' meaning of the lexeme (a point Bill McGregor also makes in a recent book chapter about quotative indexes in several Australian Aboriginal languages: McGregor, W. B. In: Robering, K. (Ed.) The 'say, do' verb in Nyulnyul, Warrwa, and other Nyulnylan languages is monosemic Events, Arguments and Aspects: Topics in the Semantics of Verbs, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2014, 301-327 (would be happy to send you a scanned copy off-list)).

That said (!), all descriptions about the polyfunctionality of reported speech constructions/quotative indexes I have seen replicate David's observation about colloquial Indonesian: reported speech constructions may also be interpreted as reported thought, but explicitly marked reported thought (e.g. with a matrix verb commonly meaning 'think') is not interpreted as reported speech. If anyone has a counterexample to this observation I would be very interested!



Stef Spronck

Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki (HU Humanities Programme)

Section editor<http://www.degruyteropen.com/people/stef-spronck/> Linguistic Typology and Pragmatics at Open Linguistics<https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/opli>

From: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> on behalf of "Ekkehard König" <koenig at zedat.fu-berlin.de>
Sent: Saturday, 6 January 2018 7:27:11 PM
To: Denys T.
Cc: Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] Quotations of speech vs. quotations of thoughts

Dear Denys,

even if this is not exactly the information you were hoping to get, it may
still be of interest to you:

- in a wide variety of Indo-European languages quotative markers derive
from deomonstratives of manner, typically from the exophoric use (German
so; French ainsi, etc.) in combination with verbs of saying or without.
(cf. pp. 159 of the article attached)

(i)"Bla, bla bla", so die Kanzlerin,...

- as is shown in Güldemann (2008) - also quoted in my article - in many
African languages manner demonstratives and non-deictic expressions of
manner provide the main source of quotative markers and in many cases such
expressions of manner have been reanalysed as verbs of saying [rather than
the other way round].

- similar sources of quotative markers can be observed in languages from
other areas, e.g. in Japanese.

Another example from my own language comes to mind: like Dutch (betekenis
- bedoeling), but in contrast to English, German draws a distinction
between sentence/word meaning (bedeuten) and speaker/utterance meaning
(meinen). The latter verb can be used for both saying and thinking, at
least in certain contexts (Karl meinte....'Karl thought/said').

Best wishes,



> Dear colleagues (especially those working with quotative markers and
> reported speech),
> in Erzya (Mordvinic, Uralic), the verb meŕems with the primary meaning
> ‘say’ is also used to quote thoughts:
> (1) Mon meŕiń, ton Saransat.
> 1sg say.pst.1sg 2sg Saransk.ine.prs.2sg
> ‘I thought (lit. I said), you are in Saransk’ (Aasmäe 2012: 66).
> However, out of context, the QI-clause Mon meŕiń would likely be
> interpreted as ‘I said’ and instead of quotation of thoughts one will get
> the quotation of speech. It is, of course, not a unique thing that one
> quotative index (clause) can be used to mark different types of reported
> discourse. I am wondering whether there is cross-linguistic evidence,
> pointing that the reading ‘I/you/X said’ is prior to the reading ‘I/you/X
> thought’ in such cases? For instance, notorious I was like to be
> interpreted out of context as 'I said' rather than 'I thought'? Or that
> speech verbs are frequently used to mark mental processes, but not vice
> versa? Is there any hierarchy in the reading of quotations? Are there any
> studies that would show that one would be prior to another? Is it even
> reasonable to expect to find something like this? Any suggestions, hints,
> (language-specific) examples are more than welcome!
> Cheers!
> Have a nice evening!
> Best wishes from Tartu,
> Denys Teptiuk_______________________________________________
> Lingtyp mailing list
> Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
> http://listserv.linguistlist.org/mailman/listinfo/lingtyp
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