Eighth session – Guro and Udihe

The second edition of our reported speech workshop in 2021 led us again across two different continents and into engaged discussion.

Olga Kuznetsova presented her work on Guro, showing that bare quotes are very common in her narrative data and illustrating various additional strategies involving a quotative verb. Of particular interest was the use of personal pronouns and logophorics in reported speech, which again brought up discussions about the direct-indirect speech dichotomy. Reported speech in Guro also displays extended meanings beyond speech, like complementiser uses and modal interpretations.

Elena Perekhvalskaya shared her analysis of Udyhe, which has two wonderfully complex but very regular dedicated constructions for expressing reported speech. The data commonly showed patterns of speech introducing clauses followed by a report and quotative verb, which raised questions about the exact syntactic boundary of reported speech marking in the language. Elena also showed examples of multiply embedded speech reports, which illustrated the difficulty of reference tracking and the variety of categories attested in this grammatical context.

Pleas join us again for the next session on the 11th of February!

– Stef

Seventh session – Ainu and Botlikh

Our reported speech workshop was off to an excellent start in 2021 with data sessions by Anna Bugaeva on Ainu and Samira Verhees on Botlikh.

The discussion on Ainu thematised the distinction between direct and indirect speech, where Anna Bugaeva especially focused on the status of logophoric speech, whose interpretation is closer to direct speech than to indirect or ‘mixed’ perspectival speech. (Also see the upcoming paper Nikitina & Bugaeva 2021 in the journal Linguistics.) The session also introduced a set of complementisers in Ainu indirect speech constructions that allow for the expression of complex speaker attitudes.

Samira Verhees presented her data on Botlikh, showing an very consistent reported speech construction involving a quotative marker, with some interesting variations and alternative particles. She also briefly reflected on the very timely topic of checking or collecting data remotely using social media. The discussion further focused on the genre-specificity of certain types of reported speech structures and the logophoric use of reflexive pronouns in Botlikh, which led to stimulating comparative discussions across fieldsites, with other Caucasianists and with Africanists in the workshop.

New sessions have been added to the schedule, so be welcome to join us for the meetings this year! (If you are not yet on the mailing list, please contact me or Daniela for the Zoom-link.)

– Stef