Third session – Ben Tey and Upper Napo Kichwa

Abbie Hantgan and Karolina Grzech brought us a very rich and engaging third session in our workshop series.

Abbie Hantgan’s data session on Ben Tey raised fundamental questions about the illocutionary status of reported speech clauses since the language contains a dedicated quoted imperative. A second feature of the language that makes it particularly relevant for the study of reported speech is the presence of a form that Abbie analyses as a ‘quotative topic’. Both of these categories broaden the range of structures that seem dedicated to reported speech contexts and help further contextualise them.

The data session by Karolina Grzech demonstrated the importance of contrastive evidence in the study of evidentiality and reported speech: while some morphological aspects of quotative/reportative evidentials in neighbouring languages seem quite similar to structures in Upper Napo Kichwa, the interpretation of these structures in Upper Napo Kichwa appears to be rather idiosyncratic. In the context of reported speech, markers that signal epistemic authority elsewhere can be used to express mistaken belief, among other meanings. The data also further appeared to demonstrate a link between the marking of switch reference and extended interpretations of reported speech.

Many thanks again to everyone who participated and, above all, to the presenters. We are looking forward to seeing you again at the next session on the 12th of November!

– Stef

Second session – Khalkha Mongolian

We thank everyone for participating in the second session of our reported speech workshop, and especially Benjamin Brosig and Dolgor Guntsetseg (in collaboration with Elena Skribnik) for engaging presentations about Khalkha Mongolian!

We saw very detailed accounts of no less than nine different strategies to express reported speech in the language and learned about meaning extensions in Khalkha Mongolian, which showed an impressive semantic range.

Prominent questions that came up related to glossing conventions, the description of semi-grammaticalised interpretations of reported speech and the status of indirect speech in non-European languages. Issues to further explore in the months to come!

– Stef

A short report about the first online data session (Introduction / Bashkir)

We would like to thank everyone for their active participation during the first session of the online workshop series!

A short summary: we began with a brief discussion of the typological questionnaire devised for the project.

The introduction was followed by the first full data session presented by Ekatarina Aplonova on Bashkir, which led to a lively discussion about a range of topics that will -no doubt- be addressed further during upcoming meetings.

A non-exhaustive list of these topics:

  •  The relation between introductory clauses and the report in constructions of the type: `David walked into the room, shouting. “Why did you step on my Magnolia?” he screamed’. In language such as Bashkir such introductory clauses seem common, and can even syntactically seem to form part of the same sentence as the following quote. What is the appropriate matrix element in such cases?
  • In languages like Bashkir, semi-grammaticalised forms of SAY can be used to express functions covered by independent lexical (e.g. `think’) or gramatical elements (e.g. complementiser) in other languages. What is the semic status of SAY in such languages?
  • What counts as embedding in reported speech?

With respect to the questionnaire, one question raised in the discussion was how to treat verbs of motion when occurring with reported speech. Given the design of the questionnaire such verbs only come up if the researcher explicitly cites such example as a type of reported speech clause first. Further engagement with the questionnaire will show if we need to adjust this.

We are looking forward to the next session on the 15th!

– Stef