Twelveth session: Gizey and Kakabe

The twelveth session of our reported speech workshop travelled through various parts of Africa, with Guillaume Guitang discussing the Chadic language Gizey and Alexandra Vydrina discussing the Mande language Kakabe.

Both presentations gave detailed accounts of reported speech marking in the respective languages, including extended functions and variation in the form of matrix units -and managed to introduce some new surprises.

Guillaume Guitang showed that the quotative marker in Gizey consists of various morphological components that are synchronically only partially transparent, but can be analysed as a combination of dedicated quotative elements and other markers, including a modal element. He also shared the rather spectacular find of an ‘anti-logophoric’ marker in Gizey, which, unlike regular logophoric pronouns, appears to be used to indicate non-coreferentiality between matrix subjects and those in report clauses.

Alexandra Vydrina shed an interesting new light on indirect speech, by demonstrating that in Kakabe indirect pronominal reference is in fact much more common in conversation than in, e.g., narrative genres, with direct speech being most common in genres that the current speaker has no involvement in at all. This appears to contradict the common assumption that indirect speech is a more literary and written device, whereas spontaneous spoken language typically favours direct speech.

Please join us again for a new and varied session on 8 April!

Eleventh session – English-Hindi code-switching and Andi

The eleventh session of our reported speech workshop returned to our regular format of data sessions with two presentations that again demonstrated the breadth and impact of the phenomenon of reported speech.

Within the context of a broader study on Hindi-English code-switching, Aung Si discussed corpus examples of code-switching in reported speech constructions. In addition to introducing data from yet another language area (and language families) into the workshop, his analysis also showed that the locus of switches between English and Hindi could violate about any syntactic prediction proposed in the literature. This raised interesting questions about the structural representation of reported speech and, especially, led to discussion about the (in)sufficiency of reducing, e.g., indirect speech constructions to ‘regular’ examples of complementation clauses.

Timur Maisak brought us to an area that we have visited more frequently in the workshop, presenting data from the Caucasian language Andi, but made it very clear that languages in this geographical region show some of the most surprising and exciting features to study semantic and structural properties of reported speech. His talk addressed the marking status of quotative markers in combination with matrix elements, various semantic extensions of reported speech and finished with interesting observations about the indexical properties in Andi reported speech (unlike in many other Caucasian languages not related to pronominal clitics, but to the behaviour of demonstatives).

Please join us for two new data sessions on the 25th!