[Lingtyp] Query: extended direct speech

David Hargreaves hargred at wou.edu
Wed Apr 24 17:19:46 UTC 2019

Hello Dennis, I know that you're well-versed in the literature on egophoric
distributions, so I'll cut to the quick. If I understand correctly, the
kind of constructions you describe are well-attested in Nepal Bhasa
(Kathmandu Newar). Egophoric distributions occur in complements of
cognition verbs, which carry the same formal/egophoric properties as direct
and indirect speech complements, but without any special intonation
correlates associated with quoted speech complements. As you know, Hale's
1980 article on the "conjunct/disjunct" system posited that the egophoric
distributions in simple, independent clauses were derived (in the sense
that the concept of 'underlying' was used at the time) from the properties
of direct/indirect speech complements. I prefer to view it the other way,
with the semantic/pragmatic functions of "privileged access" to private
mental states (specifically "intention-in-action" for Newar) motivating the
egophoric distributions in simple independent clauses. In any case, Stephen
Wechsler and I have a formal analysis of egophoricity in "Egophoric
Attitudes and Questions in Kathmandu Newar," which I've linked below (for
the record, Steve handled the the formal semantics). I've also attached my
article "Am I Blue: Privileged Access Constraints in Kathmandu Newar" from
the 2018 Egophoricity volume (Typological Studies in Language 118), which
summarizes my most recent thinking about the Newar egophoric system. I
wouldn't be surprised if other languages exhibiting egophoric systems
behaved similarly. -best,  David Hargreaves


Department of English, Writing and Linguistics
Humanities Division
Western Oregon University

On Wed, Apr 24, 2019 at 8:24 AM Denis CREISSELS <
denis.creissels at univ-lyon2.fr> wrote:

> 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.
> Best,
> Denis
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