Wait till you got started: How to submerge another’s discourse in your own

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Introduction Research from various angles has amply demonstrated the fact that viewpoints of others are routinely embedded as the speech, thoughts, or emotion states of those others in various text types. In conversation, for instance, direct speech is often used to highlight dramatic peaks (e.g. Mayes 1990; Shuman 1993; Holt and Clift 2007); news reporting uses both explicit and implicit speech reporting modes to incorporate the viewpoints of different sources (e.g. Short 1988; Semino and Short 2004; Sanders 2010); and fiction makes extensive use of a range of direct and (free) indirect modes of discourse presentation, not just to move the action forward, but also to conjure up characters’ inner lives (e.g. Banfield 1982; Fludernik 1993; Vandelanotte 2009). This chapter takes as its focus only cases where reported material is explicitly presented, typically in the form of a reported clause, though sometimes the reported material particularly in direct speech or thought consists of just a minor clause or one-word utterance (She said, “Yes”, I was like “Wow!”). This excludes from consideration so-called “narrative reports” of speech or thought acts as described by Leech and Short (1981: chapter 10) and Semino and Short (2004), as in he thought about his childhood or she talked on. Discussion of forms that present the reported material usually centers on three main forms, direct, indirect, and free indirect speech or thought, which have been analyzed in cognitive linguistics as involving different forms of mental space embedding (Sanders and Redeker 1996), with the embedded space being accessed either directly as a new Base Space (in direct speech/thought) or indirectly, via the narrative Base Space, with different degrees of narrator’s influence (in [free] indirect speech/thought).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationViewpoint in Language
Subtitle of host publicationA Multimodal Perspective
EditorsBarbara Dancygier, Eve Sweetser
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781139084727
ISBN (Print)9781107017832
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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