[Lingtyp] Query: extended direct speech

Denis CREISSELS denis.creissels at univ-lyon2.fr
Wed Apr 24 15:23:58 UTC 2019

Dear all,


By ‘extended direct speech’, I mean constructions involving a main verb
which is not a verb of saying and a subordinate clause which does not refer
to a speech act, but in which first person pronouns or indexes in the
subordinate clause behave exactly in the same way as in direct speech, in
the sense that they do not refer to the speaker, but to the subject of the
matrix clause. This pattern is regularly (although optionally) found in
Jóola Fóoñi (aka Diola-Fogny, an Atlantic language of Senegal), in the
complementation of ‘know’ and other cognitive verbs.


For example, in Jóola Fooñi, ‘The childi knows that hisi mother worked hard
for himi’ is commonly expressed as literally ‘The child knows that my mother
worked hard for me’. The obvious explanation is that such a sentence can be
paraphrased as ‘The child knows (something he could express by saying:) my
mother worked hard for me’. One must therefore consider the possibility
that, cross-linguistically, similar sentences occur more or less
sporadically in spontaneous speech with a special intonation, as a ‘figure
of speech’ of the type termed ‘anacoluthon’ in classical rhetoric. What is
special in the case of Jóola Fóoñi is that such a formulation is
stylistically neutral, does not necessitate a special intonation, and is not
deemed deviant by speakers.


I would be interested to know whether a similar routinization of ‘extended
direct speech’ has been observed in other languages.





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