[Lingtyp] Quotations of speech vs. quotations of thoughts

Spronck, Stef stef.spronck at helsinki.fi
Sat Jan 6 20:35:11 UTC 2018

Dear Ian,

Even if your example would be based on a conversation with Mr Trump, I'd still say it's a claim about his cognitive state, not about a speech event. But thank you for the example, it does make clear that my remark about using 'think' for 'say' requires a more elaborate argument.

As many of you will be aware, reported speech constructions can have a broad range of secondary interpretations, of which 'think' seems to be the most common, but meanings such as 'want', 'try', 'begin to' etc. are also found in unrelated languages across the world. I have compiled a collection of observations and references about this phenomenon, please contact me off-list if you'd like me to share it with you.



From: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> on behalf of JOO Ian <il.y.en.a at outlook.com>
Sent: Saturday, 6 January 2018 9:23:26 PM
To: lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] Quotations of speech vs. quotations of thoughts

Dear Stef,

Your thought that "explicitly marked reported thought (e.g. with a matrix verb commonly meaning 'think') is not interpreted as reported speech" is interesting, but wouldn't it be possible, on pragmatic grounds, for a verb meaning 'to think' to refer to an actual utterance? For example:

"Donald Trump thinks that he should be elected again."

could refer to Trump's actual utterance "I should be elected again".

But I'm not sure if this is a valid counterexample, I would like to know what others think.

Ian Joo
From: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> on behalf of Spronck, Stef <stef.spronck at helsinki.fi>
Sent: Sunday, January 7, 2018 2:49:16 AM
To: Denys T.
Cc: Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] Quotations of speech vs. quotations of thoughts

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<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.degruyteropen.com%2Fpeople%2Fstef-spronck%2F&data=02%7C01%7C%7Cd79c4186ce1c4ec0581e08d55536486d%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C636508613983202428&sdata=Raf%2BsCaqCLE%2FTxtz%2F4Z80hoD8QxyDhCeBHFpkKwnUgk%3D&reserved=0> Linguistic Typology and Pragmatics at Open Linguistics<https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.degruyter.com%2Fview%2Fj%2Fopli&data=02%7C01%7C%7Cd79c4186ce1c4ec0581e08d55536486d%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C636508613983202428&sdata=q6zSDmfBvg6%2BCVhY3omvcGplPffp6FyktOnm9%2BG9LDU%3D&reserved=0>

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
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